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THREE momentous things symbolize the era that 
begins its cycle with the memorable year of 1776: 
the Declaration of Independence, the steam engine, 
and Adam Smith's book, The Wealth of Nations. 
The Declaration gave birth to a new nation, whose 
millions of acres of free land were to shift the eco- 
nomic equilibrium of the world; the engine mul- 
tiplied man's productivity a thousandfold and up- 
rooted in a generation the customs of centuries; 
the book gave to statesmen a new view of econom- 
ic affairs and profoundly influenced the course of 
international trade relations. 

The American people, as they faced the ap- 
proaching age with the experiences of the race 
behind them, fashioned many of their institutions 


and laws on British models. This is true to such 
an extent that the subject of this book, the rise of 
labor in America, cannot be understood without 
a preliminary survey of the British industrial sys- 
tem nor even without some reference to the feu- 
dal system, of which English society for many cen- 
turies bore the marks and to which many relics of 
tenure and of class and governmental responsi- 
bility may be traced. Feudalism was a society in 
which the status of an individual was fixed: he was 
underman or overman in a rigid social scale accord- 
ing as he considered his relation to his superiors or 
to his inferiors. Whatever movement there was 
took place horizontally, in the same class or on the 
same social level The movement was not vertical, 
as it so frequently is today, and men did not ordi- 
narily rise above the social level of their birth, never 
by design, and only perhaps by rare accident or 
genius. It was a little world of lords and serfs: of 
knights who graced court and castle, jousted at 
tournaments, or fought upon the field of battle; 
and of serfs who toiled in the fields, served in the 
castle, or, as the retainers of the knight, formed the 
crude soldiery of medieval days. For their labor 
and allegiance they were clothed and housed and 
fed. Yet though there were feast days gay with 


the color of pageantry and procession, the worker 
was always in a servile state, an underman depen- 
dent upon his master, and sometimes looking upon 
his condition as lit lie better than slavery. 

With the break-up of this rigid system came in 
England the emancipation of the serf, the rise of 
the artisan class, and the beginnings of peasant 
agriculture. That personal gravitation which al- 
ways draws together men of similar ambitions 
and tasks now began to work significant, changes 
in the economic* order. The peasantry, more or 
less scattered in the country, found it difficult to 
unite their powers for redressing their grievances, 
although there were some peasant revolts of no 
mean proportions. But the artisans of the towns 
were soon grouped into powerful organizations, 
called guilds, so carefully managed and so well dis- 
ciplined that they dominated every craft and con- 
trolled every detail in every trade. The relation of 
master to journeyman arid apprentice, the wages, 
hours, quantity, and quality of the output, were all 
minutely regulated. Merchant guilds, similarly 
constituted, also prospered. The magnificent guild 
halls that, remain in our day are monuments of the 
power and splendor of these organisations that 
made the towns of thelaiek' Middle Ages ilourishirig 


centers of trade, of handicrafts, and of art. As 
towns developed, they dealt the final blow to an 
agricultural system based on feudalism: they be- 
came cities of refuge for the runaway serfs, and 
their charters, insuring political and economic free- 
dom, gave them superior advantages for trading. 

The guild system of manufacture was gradually 
replaced by the domestic system. The workman's 
cottage, standing in its garden, housed the loom 
and the spinning wheel, and the entire family was 
engaged in labor at home. But the workman, 
thus apparently independent, was not the owner of 
either the raw material or the finished product. A 
middleman or agent brought him the wool, carried 
away the cloth, and paid him his hire. Daniel 
Defoe, who made a tour of Britain in 1724-6, left 
a picture of rural England in this period, often 
called the golden age of labor. The land, he says, 
"was divided into small inclosures from two acres 
to six or seven each, seldom more: every three or 
four pieces of land had an house belonging to them, 
. . . hardly an house standing out of a speaking 
distance from another. . . . We could see at every 
house a tenter, and on almost every tenter a piece 
of cloth or kersie or shalloon. ... At every con- 
siderable house was a manufactory. . . . Every 


clothier keeps one horse, at least, to carry his manu- 
factures to the market and every one generally 
keeps a cow or two or more for his family. By I his 
means the small pieces of inclosed land about, each 
house are occupied, for they scarce sow corn enough 
to feed their poultry. . . . The houses are full of 
lusty fellows, some at the dye vai, .sonic a! the 
looms, others dressing UK* clothes; the women or 
children carding or spinning, being all employed, 
from the youngest to the oldest. 1 ' 

But more significant than these changes was 
the rise of the so-called mercantile system, in which 
the state took under its care industrial details that 
were formerly regulated by the town or guild. 
This system, beginning in the sixteenth century 
and lasting through the eighteenth, had for its 
prime object the upbuilding of national trade. 
The state, in order to insure the homogeneous 
development of trade and industry, dictated the 
prices of commodities. Tl, prescribed the laws of 
apprenticeship and the rules of master and servant.. 
It provided inspectors for passing on the. quality 
of goods offered for sale. Tl, weighed the loaves, 
measured the cloth, and tested the silverware. It 
prescribed wages, rural and urban, and bade the 
local justice act as a sort, of guardian over the 


laborers in Ms district. To relieve poverty 
laws were passed; to prevent the decline of pro- 
ductivity corn laws were passed fixing arbitrary 
prices for grain. For a time monopolies creating 
artificial prosperity were granted to individuals 
and to corporations for the manufacture, sale, or 
exploitation of certain articles, such as matches, 
gunpowder, and playing-cards. 

This highly artificial and paternalistic state was 
not content with regulating all these internal mat- 
ters but spread its protection over foreign com- 
merce. Navigation acts attempted to monopo- 
lize the trade of the colonies and especially the trade 
in the products needed by the mother country. 
England encouraged shipping and during this pe- 
riod achieved that dominance of the sea which has 
been the mainstay of her vast empire. She fos- 
tered plantations and colonies not for their own 
sake but that they might be tributaries to the 
wealth of the nation. An absurd importance was 
attached to the possession of gold and silver, and the 
ingenuity of statesmen was exhausted in designing 
lures to entice these metals to London. Banking 
and insurance began to assume prime importance. 
By 1750 England had sent ships into every sea and 
had planted colonies around the globe. 


But while the mechanism of trade and of govern- 
ment made surprising progress during the mer- 
cantile period, the mechanism of production re- 
mained in the slow handicraft stage. This was 
now to change. In 1738 Kay invented the flying 
shuttle, multiplying the capacity of the loom. In 
1767 Hargreaves completed the spinning-jenny, 
and in 1771 Arkwright perfected his roller spinning 
machine. A few years later Crompton combined 
the roller and the jenny, and after the application 
of steam to spinning in 1785 the power loom 
replaced the hand loom. The manufacture of 
woolen cloth being the principal industry of Eng- 
land, it was natural that machinery should first be 
invented for the spinning and weaving of wool. 
New processes in the manufacture of iron and 
steel and the development of steam transportation 
soon followed. 

Within the course of a few decades the whole 
economic order was changed. Whereas many cen- 
turies had been required for the slow development 
of the medieval system of feudalism, the guild sys- 
tem, and the handicrafts, now, like a series of 
earthquake shocks, came changes so sudden and 
profound that even today society has not yet 
learned to adjust itself to the myriads of needs 


and possibilities which the union of man's mind 
with nature's forces has produced. The indus- 
trial revolution took the workman from the land 
and crowded him into the towns. It took the 
loom from his cottage and placed it in the factory. 
It took the tool from his hand and harnessed it to 
a shaft. It robbed him of his personal skill and 
joined his arm of flesh to an arm of iron. It 
reduced him from a craftsman to a specialist, 
from a maker of shoes to a mere stitcher of soles. 
It took from him, at a single blow, his interest in 
the workmanship of his task, his ownership of the 
tools, his garden, his wholesome environment, and 
even his family. All were swallowed by the black 
maw of the ugly new mill town. The hardships of 
the old days were soon forgotten in the horrors of 
the new. For the transition was rapid enough to 
make the contrast striking. Indeed it was so rapid 
that the new class of employers, the capitalists, 
found little time to think of anything but increas- 
ing their profits, and the new class of employees, 
now merely wage-earners, found that their long 
hours of monotonous toil gave them little leisure 
and no interest. 

The transition from the age of handicrafts to the 
era of machines presents a picture of greed that 


tempts one to bitter invective. Its details are dis- 
passionately catalogued by the Royal Commissions 
that finally towards the middle of the nineteenth 
century inquired into industrial conditions. From 
these reports Karl Marx drew inspiration for his 
social philosophy, and in them his friend Engles 
found the facts that he retold so vividly, for the 
purpose of arousing 1 his fellow workmen. And 
Carlyle and Ruskin, reading this official record of 
selfishness, and knowing its truth, drew their power- 
ful indictments against a society which would per- 
mit its eight-year-old daughters, its mothers, and 
its grandmothers, to be locked up for fourteen 
hours a day in dirty, ill-smelling factories, to re- 
lease them at night only to find more misery in the 
hovels they pitifully called home. 

The introduction of machinery into manufactur- 
ing wrought vast changes also in the organization 
of business. The unit of industry greatly increased 
in size. The economies of organized wholesale pro- 
duction were soon made apparent; and the tend- 
ency to increase the size of the factory and to 
amalgamate the various branches of industry un- 
der corporate control has continued to the pres- 
ent. The complexity of business operations also 
increased with the development of transportation. 


and the expansion of the empire of trade. A 
world market took the place of the old town market* 
and the world market necessitated credit on a new 
and infinitely larger scale. 

No less important than the revolution in indus- 
try was the revolution in economic theory which 
accompanied it. Unlimited competition replaced 
the state paternalism of the mercantilists. Adam 
Smith in 1776 espoused the cause of economic lib- 
erty, believing that if business and industry were 
unhampered by artificial restrictions they would 
work out their own salvation. His pronouncement 
was scarcely uttered before it became the shib- 
boleth of statesmen and business men. The revolt 
of the American colonies hastened the general ac- 
ceptance of this doctrine, and England soon found 
herself committed to the practice of every man 
looking after his own interests. Freedom of con- 
tract, freedom of trade, and freedom of thought 
were vigorous and inspiring but often misleading 
phrases. The processes of specialization and cen- 
tralization that were at work portended the grow- 
ing power of those who possessed the means to 
build factories and ships and railways but not nec- 
essarily the freedom of the many. The doctrine of 
laissez/aire assumed that power would bring with 


It a sense of responsibility. For centuries, the old- 
country gentry and governing class of England 
had shown an appreciation of their duties, as a 
class, to those dependent upon them. But now 
another class with no benevolent traditions of re- 
sponsibility came into power the capitalist, a 
parvenu whose ambition was profit, not equity, and 
whose dealings with other men were not tempered 
by the amenities of the gentleman but were sharp- 
ened by the necessities of gain. It was upon such 
a class, new in the economic world and endowed 
with astounding power, that Adam Smith's new 
formularies of freedom were let loose. 

During all these changes in the economic order, 
the interest of the laborer centered in one question : 
What return would he receive for his toil? With 
the increasing complexity of society, many other 
problems presented themselves to the worker, but 
for the most part they were subsidiary to the main 
question of wages. As long as man's place was 
fixed by law or custom, a customary wage left small 
margin for controversy. But when fixed status 
gave way to voluntary contract, when payment 
was made in money, when workmen were free to 
journey from town to town, labor became both 
free and fluid, bargaining took the place of custom, 


and the wage controversy began to assume definite 
proportions. As early as 1348 the great plague 
became a landmark in the field of wage disputes. 
So scarce had laborers become through the rav- 
ages of the Black Death, that wages rose rapidly, 
to the alarm of the employers, who prevailed upon 
King Edward III to issue the historic proclama- 
tion of 1349, directing that no laborer should de- 
mand and no employer should pay greater wages 
than those customary before the plague. This 
early attempt to outmaneuver an economic law 
by a legal device was only the prelude to a long 
series of labor laws which may be said to have cul- 
minated in the great Statute of Laborers of 1562, 
regulating the relations of wage-earner and em- 
ployer and empowering justices of the peace to 
fix the wages in their districts. Wages steadily 
decreased during the two hundred years in which 
this statute remained in force, and poor laws were 
passed to bring the succor which artificial wages 
made necessary. Thus two rules of arbitrary gov- 
ernment were meant to neutralize each other. It 
is the usual verdict of historians that the estate 
of labor in England declined from a flourishing 
condition in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries 
to one of great distress by the time of the Industrial 


Revolution. This unhappy decline was probably 
due i,o several causes, among which the most im- 
portant were the arbitrary and artificial attempts 
of the Government to keep down wages, the 
heavy taxation caused by wars of expansion, and 
the want of coercive power on the part of labor. 

From the decline of the guild system, which had 
placed labor and its products so completely in the 
hands of I he master craftsman, the workman had 
assumed no controlling part in the labor bargain. 
Such guilds and such journeyman's fraternities 
as may have survived were practically helpless 
against parliamentary rigor and state benevolence. 
In the domestic stage of production, cohesion 
among workers was not so necessary. But when. 
the factory system was substituted for the handi- 
craft system and workers with common interests 
were thrown together in the towns, they had every 
impulsion towards organization. They not only 
fell the need of sociability after long hours spent in 
spiritless toil but they were impelled by a new 
consciousness - the realization that an inevitable 
and profound change had come over their condi- 
tion. They had ceased to be journeymen con- 
trolling in some measure their activities: they were 
now merely wage-earners. As the realization of 


this adverse change came over them, they began 
to resent the unsanitary and burdensome condi- 
tions under which they were compelled to live and 
to work. So actual grievances were added to fear 
of what might happen, and in their common cause 
experience soon taught them unity of action. Par- 
liament was petitioned, agitations were organized, 
sick-benefits were inaugurated, and when these 
methods failed, machinery was destroyed, factories 
were burned, and the strike became a common 
weapon of self-defense. 

Though a few labor organizations can be traced 
as far back as 1700, their growth during the eight- 
eenth century was slow and irregular. There was 
no unity in their methods, and they were known by 
many names, such as associations, unions, union 
societies, trade clubs, and trade societies. These 
societies had no legal status and their meetings 
were usually held in secret. And the Webbs in 
their History of Trade Unionism allude to the 
traditions of "the midnight meeting of patriots in 
the comer of the field, the buried box of records, 
the secret oath, the long terms of imprisonment of 
the leading officials/' Some of these tales were 
unquestionably apocryphal, others were exag- 
gerated by feverish repetition. But they indicate 


the aversion with which the authorities looked 
upon these combinations. 

There were two legal doctrines long invoked by 
the English courts against combined action doc- 
trines that became a heritage of the United States 
and have had a profound effect upon the labor 
movements in America. The first of these was the 
doctrine of conspiracy, a doctrine so ancient that 
its sources are obscure. It was the natural prod- 
uct of a government and of a time that looked 
askance at all combined action, fearing sedition, 
intrigue, and revolution. As far back as 1305 
there was enacted a statute defining conspiracy and 
outlining the offense. It did not aim at any defi- 
nite social class but embraced all persons who com- 
bined for a "malicious enterprise.'* Such an enter- 
prise was the breaking of a law. So when Parlia- 
ment passed acts regulating wages, conditions of 
employment, or prices of commodities, those who 
combined secretly or openly to circumvent the act, 
to raise wages or lower them, or to raise prices and 
curtail markets, at once fell under the ban of con- 
spiracy. The law operated alike on conspiring 
employers and conniving employees. 

The new class of employers during the early 
years of the machine age eagerly embraced the 


doctrine of conspiracy. They readily brought un* 
der the legal definition the secret connivings of 
the wage-earners. Political conditions now also 
worked against the laboring class. The unrest in 
the colonies that culminated in the independence of 
America and the fury of the French Revolution 
combined to make kings and aristocracies wary of 
all organizations and associations of plain folk, 
And when we add to this the favor which the ne\\ 
employing class, the industrial masters, were able 
to extort from the governing class, because of their 
power over foreign trade and domestic finance, we 
can understand the compulsory laws at length 
declaring against all combinations of working men. 
The second legal doctrine which Americans have 
inherited from England and which has played a 
leading role in labor controversies is the doctrine 
that declares unlawful all combinations in restraint 
of trade. Like its twin doctrine of conspiracy, it is 
of remote historical origin. One of the earliest 
uses, perhaps the first use, of the term by Parlia- 
ment was in the statute of 1436 forbidding guilds 
and trading companies from adopting by-laws "in 
restraint of trade," and forbidding practices in price 
manipulations "for their own profit and to the 
common hurt of the people." This doctrine thus 


early invoked, and repeatedly reasserted against 
combinations of traders and masters, was incorpor- 
ated in the general statute of 1800 which declared 
all combinations of journeymen illegal. But in spite 
of legal doctrines, of innumerable laws and court 
decisions, strikes and combinations multiplied, and 
devices were found for evading statutory wages. 

In 1824 an act of Parliament removed the 
general prohibition of combinations and accorded 
to workingmen the right to bargain collectively. 
Three men were responsible for this noteworthy 
reform, each one a new type in British politics. 
The first was Francis Place, a tailor who had taken 
active part in various strikes. He was secretary 
of the London Corresponding Society, a powerful 
labor union, which in 1795 had twenty branches in 
London. Most of the officers of this organization 
were at one time or another arrested, and some 
were kept in prison three years without a trial. 
Place, schooled in such experience, became a radi- 
cal politician of great influence, a friend of Ben- 
tham, Owen, and the elder Mill. The second type 
of new reformer was represented by Joseph Hume, 
a physician who had accumulated wealth in the 
India Service, who had returned home to enter 
public life, and who was converted from Toryism to 

18 THE OF 

Radicalism by a careful study of financial, political, 
and industrial problems. A great number of re- 
form laws can be traced directly to his incredible 
activity during his thirty years in Parliament. 
The third leader was John R. McCulIoch, an ortho- 
dox economist, a disciple of Adam Smith, for some 
years editor of The Scotsman, which was then 
a violently radical journal cooperating with the 
newly established Edinburgh Review in advocating 
sociological and political reforms. 

Thus Great Britain, the mother country from 
which Americans have inherited so many institu- 
tions, laws, and traditions, passed in turn through 
the periods of extreme paternalism, glorified com- 
petition, and governmental antagonism to labor 
combinations, into what may be called the age of 
conciliation. And today the Labour Party in the 
House of Commons has shown itself strong enough 
to impose its programme upon the Liberals and, 
through this radical coalition, has achieved a pow- 
er for the working man greater than even Francis 
Place or Thomas Carlyle ever hoped for. 



AMERICA did not become a cisatlantic Britain, as 
some of the colonial adventurers had hoped. A 
wider destiny awaited her. Here were economic 
conditions which upset all notions of the fixity of 
class distinctions. Here was a continent of free 
land, luring the disaffected or disappointed artisan 
and enabling him to achieve economic independ- 
ence. Hither streamed ceaselessly hordes of Immi- 
grants from Europe, constantly shifting the social 
equilibrium. Here the demand for labor was con- 
stant, except during the rare Intervals of financial 
stagnation, and here the door of opportunity 
swung wide to the energetic and able artisan. The 
records of American Industry are replete with 
names of prominent leaders who began at the 
apprentice's bench. 

The old class distinctions brought from the home 
country, however, had survived for many years in 


the primeval forests of Virginia and Maryland and 
even among the hills of New England. Indeed, 
until the Revolution and for some time thereafter, 
a man's clothes were the badge of his calling. The 
gentleman wore powdered queue and ruffled shirt; 
the workman, coarse buckskin breeches, ponder- 
ous shoes with brass buckles, and usually a leather 
apron, well greased to keep it pliable. Just before 
the Revolution the lot of the common laborer was 
not an enviable one. His house was rude and 
barren of comforts; his fare was coarse and without 
variety. His wage was two shillings a day, and 
prison usually an indescribably filthy hole 
awaited him the moment he ran into debt. The 
artisan fared somewhat better. He had spent, as 
a rule, seven years learning his trade, and his skill 
and energy demanded and generally received a 
reasonable return. The account books that have 
come down to us from colonial days show that his 
handiwork earned him a fair living. This, how- 
ever, was before machinery had made inroads upon 
the product of cabinetmaker, tailor, shoemaker, 
locksmith, and silversmith, and when the main 
street of every village was picturesque with the 
signs of the crafts that maintained the decent 
independence of the community. 


Such labor organizations as existed before the 
Revolution were limited to the skilled trades. In 
1648 the coopers and the shoemakers of Boston 
were granted permission to organize guilds, which 
embraced both master and journeyman, and there 
were a few similar organizations in New York, 
Philadelphia, and Baltimore. But these were not 
unions like those of today. "There are," says 
Richard T. Ely, "no traces of anything like a 
modern trades union in the colonial period of Ameri- 
can history, and it is evident on reflection that 
there was little need, if any, of organization on the 
part of labor, at that time." 1 

A new epoch for labor came in with the Revolu- 
tion. Within a decade wages rose fifty per cent, 
and John Jay in 1784 writes of the "wages of me- 
chanics and laborers" as "very extravagant." 
Though the industries were small and depended 
on a local market within a circumscribed area of 
communication, they grew rapidly. The period 
following the Revolution is marked by consider- 
able industrial restiveness and by the formation of 
many labor organizations, which were, however, 
benevolent or friendly societies rather than unions 
and were often incorporated by an act of the 

1 The Labor Movement In America, by Richard T. Ely (1905), p. 36. 


legislature. In New York, between 1800 and 1810, 
twenty-four suck societies were incorporated. 
Only in the larger cities were they composed of 
artisans of one trade, such as the New York Ma- 
sons Society (1807) or the New York Society of 
Journeymen Shipwrights (1807). Elsewhere they 
included artisans of many trades, such as the 
Albany Mechanical Society (1801). In Phila- 
delphia the cordwainers, printers, and hatters had 
societies. In Baltimore the tailors were the first 
to organize, and they conducted in 1795 one of 
the first strikes in America. Ten years later they 
struck again, and succeeded in raising their pay 
from seven shillings sixpence the job to eight shill- 
ings ninepence and "extras." At the same time 
the pay of unskilled labor was rising rapidly, for 
workers were scarce owing to the call of the mer- 
chant marine in those years of the rising splendor 
of the American sailing ship, and the lure of west- 
ern lands. The wages of common laborers rose to 
a dollar and more a day. 

There occurred in 1805 an important strike of 
the Philadelphia cordwainers. Theirs was one of 
the oldest labor organizations in the country, and 
it had conducted several successful strikes. This 
particular occasion, however, is significant, because 


the strikers were tried for conspiracy in the mayor's 
court, with the result that they were found guilty and 
fined eight dollars each, with costs. As the court per- 
mitted both sides to tell their story in detail, a full 
report of the proceedings survives to give us, as it 
were, a photograph of the labor conditions of that 
time. The trial kindled a great deal of local ani- 
mosity. A newspaper called the Aurora contained 
inflammatory accounts of the proceedings, and a 
pamphlet giving the records of the court was wide- 
ly circulated. This pamphlet bore the significant 
legend, "It is better that the law be known and 
certain, than that it be right," and was dedicated 
to the Governor and General Assembly "with the 
hope of attracting their particular attention, at the 
next meeting of the legislature. " 

Another early instance of a strike occurred in 
New York City in 1809, when the cordwainers 
struck for higher wages and were haled before the 
mayor's court on the charge of conspiracy. The 
trial was postponed by Mayor DeWitt Clinton 
until after the pending municipal elections to avoid 
the risk of offending either side. When at length 
the strikers were brought to trial, the court-house 
was crowded with spectators, showing how keen 
was the public interest in the case. The jury's 


verdict of " guilty/' and the imposition of a fine of 
one dollar each and costs upon the defendants 
served but as a stimulus to the friends of the strikers 
to gather in a great mass meeting and protest against 
the verdict and the law that made it possible. 

In 1821 the New York Typographical Society, 
which had been organized four years earlier by 
Peter Force, a labor leader of unusual energy, set a 
precedent for the vigorous and fearless career of 
its modern successor by calling a strike in the 
printing office of Thurlow Weed, the powerful 
politician, himself a member of the society, be- 
cause he employed a "rat," as a nonunion worker 
was called. It should be noted, however, that the 
organizations of this early period were of a loose 
structure and scarcely comparable to the labor 
unions of today. 

Sidney Smith, the brilliant contributor to the 
Edinburgh Review, propounded in 1820 certain 
questions which sum up the general conditions of 
American industry and art after nearly a half 
century of independence: "In the four quarters of 
the globe," he asked, "who reads an American 
book? or goes to an American play? or looks at an 
American picture or statue? What does the world 


yet owe to American physicians or surgeons? 
What new substances have their chemists dis- 
covered? or what old ones have they analyzed? 
What new constellations have been discovered by 
the telescopes of Americans? What have they 
done in mathematics? Who drinks out of Ameri- 
can glasses? or eats from American plates? or wears 
American coats or gowns? or sleeps in American 

These questions, which were quite pertinent, 
though conceived in an impertinent spirit, were 
being answered in America even while the witty 
Englishman was framing them. The water power 
of New England was being harnessed to cotton 
mills, woolen mills, and tanneries. Massachu- 
setts in 18SO reported one hundred and sixty-one 
factories. New York had begun that marvelous 
growth which made the city, in the course of a few 
decades, the* financial capital of a hemisphere. So 
rapidly were people flocking to New York, that 
houses had tenants long before they had windows 
and doors, and streets were lined with buildings 
before they had sewers, sidewalks, or pavements. 
New Jersey had well under way those manufacto- 
ries of glassware, porcelains, carpets, and textiles 
which have since brought her great prosperity* 

26 THE OF 

Philadelphia was the country's greatest weaving 
center, boasting four thousand craftsmen engaged 
in that industry. Even on the frontier, Pittsburgh 
and Cincinnati were emerging from "settlements" 
into manufacturing towns of importance. Mc- 
Master concludes his graphic summary of these 
years as follows: "In 1820 it was estimated that 
200,000 persons and a capital of $75,000,000 were 
employed in manufacturing. In 1825 the capital 
used had been expanded to $160,000,000 and the 
number of workers to 2,000,000."' 

The Industrial Revolution had set in. These 
new millions who hastened to answer the call of 
industry in the new land were largely composed of 
the poor of other lands. Thousands of them were 
paupers when they landed in America, their pas- 
sage having been paid by those at home who wanted 
to get rid of them. Vast numbers settled down in 
the cities, in spite of the lure of the land. It was 
at this period that universal manhood suffrage was 
written into the constitutions of the older States, 
and a new electorate assumed the reins of power. 
Now the first labor representatives were sent to 
the legislatures and to Congress, and the older 
parties began eagerly bidding for the votes of the 

1 History of the People of the United States (1901), vol. v, p. 230. 


humble. The decision of great questions fell to 
this new electorate. With the rise of industry 
came the demand for a protective tariff and for 
better transportation. State governments vied 
with each other, in thoughtless haste, in lending 
their credit to new turnpike and canal construc- 
tion. And above all political issues loomed the 
Bank, the monopoly that became the laborer's 
bugaboo and Andrew Jackson's opportunity to 
rally to his side the newly enfranchised mechanics. 

So the old days of semi-colonial composure were 
succeeded by the thrilling experiences that a new 
industrial prosperity thrusts upon a really demo- 
cratic electorate. Little wonder that the labor 
union movement took the political by-path, seek- 
ing salvation in the promise of the politician and 
in the panacea of fatuous laws. Now there were 
to be discerned the beginnings of class solidarity 
among the working people. But the individual's 
chances to improve; his situation were still very 
great and opportunity was still a golden word. 

The harsh facts of the hour, however, soon began 
to call for united action. The cities were expand- 
ing with such eager haste that proper housing con- 
ditions were overlooked. Workingmen were obliged 
to live in wretched structures. Moreover, human 


beings were still levied on for debt and imprisoned 
for default of payment. Children of less than six- 
teen years of age were working twelve or more 
hours a day, and if they received any education 
at all, it was usually in schools charitably called 
"ragged schools" or "poor schools," or "pauper 
schools." There was no adequate redress for the 
mechanic if his wages were in default, for lien laws 
had not yet found their way into the statute books. 
Militia service was oppressive, permitting only the 
rich to buy exemption. It was still considered an 
unlawful conspiracy to act in unison for an increase 
in pay or a lessening of working hours. By 1840 
the pay of unskilled labor had dropped to about 
seventy-five cents a day in the overcrowded cities, 
and in the winter, in either city or country, many 
unskilled workers were glad to work for merely 
their board. The lot of women workers was especi- 
ally pitiful. A seamstress by hard toil, working 
fifteen hours a day might stitch enough shirts to 
earn from seventy-two cents to a dollar and twelve 
cents a week. Skilled labor, while faring better 
in wages, shared with the unskilled in the uni- 
versal working day which lasted from sun to sum 
Such in brief were the conditions that brought 
home to the laboring masses that homogeneous 


Consciousness which alone makes a group powerful 
in a democracy. 

The movement can most clearly be discerned 
in the cities. Philadelphia claims precedence as 
the home of the first Trades' Union. The master 
cordwainers had organized a society in 1792, and 
their journeymen had followed suit two years 
later. The experiences and vicissitudes of these 
shoemakers furnished a useful lesson to other 
tradesmen, many of whom were organized into 
unions. But they were isolated organizations, 
each one fighting its own battles. In 1827 the Me- 
chanics' Union of Trade Associations was formed. 
Of its significance John R. Commons says : 

England is considered the home of trade-unionism, 
but the distinction belongs to Philadelphia. . . . The 
first trades' union in England was that of Manchester, 
organized in 1829, although there seems to have been 
an attempt to organize one in 1824. But the first one 
in America was the " Mechanics' Union of Trade 
Associations," organized in Philadelphia in 1827, two 
years earlier. The name came from Manchester, but 
the thing from Philadelphia. Neither union lasted 
long. The Manchester union lived two years, and the 
Philadelphia union one year. But the Manchester 
union died and the Philadelphia union metamorphosed 
into politics. Here again Philadelphia was the pio- 
neer, for it called into being the first labor party. Not 


only this, but through the Mechanics' Union Phila- 
delphia started probably the first wage-earners' paper 
ever published the Mechanics Free Press ante- 
dating, in January, 1828, the first similar journal in 
England by two years. 1 

The union tad its inception in the first general 
building strike called in America. In the summer 
of 1827 the carpenters struck for a ten-hour day. 
They were soon joined by the bricklayers, painters, 
and glaziers, and members of other trades. But 
the strike failed of its immediate object. A second 
effort to combine the various trades into one organ- 
ization was made in 1833, when the Trades' Union 
of the City and County of Philadelphia, was formed. 
Three years later this union embraced some fifty 
societies with over ten thousand members. In 
June, 1835, this organization undertook what was 
probably the first successful general strike in Amer- 
ica. It began among the cordwainers, spread to 
the workers in the building trades, and was pres- 
ently joined in by cigarmakers, carters, saddlers 
and harness makers, smiths, plumbers, bakers, 
printers, and even by the unskilled workers on the 
docks. The strikers' demand for a ten-hour day re- 
ceived a great deal of support from the influential 

1 Labor Organization and Labor Politics, 18&7-37; in the Quarterly 
Journal of Economics, February, 1907. 


men in the community. After a mass meeting of 
citizens had adopted resolutions endorsing the 
demands of the union, the city council agreed to 
a ten-hour day for all municipal employees. 

In 1833 the carpenters of New York City struck 
for an increase in wages. They were receiving a 
dollar thirty-seven and a half cents a day; they 
asked for a dollar and a half. They obtained the 
support of other workers, notably the tailors, 
printers, brushmakers, tobacconists, and masons, 
and succeeded in winning their strike in one month. 
The printers, who have always been alert and ac- 
tive in New York City, elated by the success of 
this coordinate effort, sent out a circular calling 
for a general convention of all the trades societies 
of the city. After a preliminary meeting in July, 
a mass meeting was held in December, at which 
there were present about four thousand persons 
representing twenty-one societies. The outcome 
of the meeting was the organization of the General 
Trades' Union of New York City. 

It happened in the following year that Ely 
Moore of the Typographical Association and the 
first president of the new union, a powerful ora- 
tor and a sagacious organizer, was elected to Con- 
gress on the Jackson ticket. He was backed by 


Tammany Hall, always on the alert for winners, 
and was supported by the mechanics, artisans, and 
workingmen. He was the first man to take his 
seat in Washington as the avowed representative 
of labor. 

The movement for a ten-hour day was now in full 
swing, and the years 1834-7 were full of strikes. 
The most spectacular of these struggles was the 
strike of the tailors of New York in 1836, in the 
course of which twenty strikers were arrested for 
conspiracy. After a spirited trial attended by 
throngs of spectators, the men were found guilty 
by a jury which took only thirty minutes for delib- 
eration. The strikers were fined $50 each, except the 
president of the society, who was fined $150. After 
the trial there was held a mass meeting which was 
attended, according to the Evening Post, by twenty- 
seven thousand persons. Resolutions were passed 
declaring that "to all acts of tyranny and injustice, 
resistance is just and therefore necessary," and 
"that the construction given to the law in the case 
of the journeymen tailors is not only ridiculous and 
weak in practice but unjust in principle and sub- 
versive of the rights and liberties of American 
citizens." The town was placarded with "coffin" 
handbills, a practice not uncommon in those days. 


Enclosed in a device representing a coffin were 
these words: 


Twenty of your brethren have been found guilty for 
presuming to resist a reduction in their wages! . . . 
Judge Edwards has charged . . . the Rich are the only 
judges of the wants of the poor. On Monday, June 6, 
1836, the Freemen are to receive their sentence, to 
gratify the hellish appetites of aristocracy! ... Go! 
Go! Go! Every Freeman, every Workingman, and 
hear the melancholy sound of the earth on the Coffin 
of Equality. Let the Court Room, the City-hall 
yea, the whole Park, be filled with mourners! But 
remember, offer no violence to Judge Edwards ! Bend 
meekly and receive the chains wherewith you are to 
be bound! Keep the peace! Above all things, keep 
the peace ! 

The Evening Post concludes a long account of the 
affair by calling attention to the fact that the 
Trades Union was not composed of "only foreign- 
ers." "It is a low calculation when we estimate 
that two-thirds of the workingmen of the city, num- 
bering several thousand persons, belong to it," and 
that "it is controlled and supported by the great 
majority of our native born." 

The Boston Trades Union was organized in 1834 
and started out with a great labor parade on the 

34 THE OF 

Fourth of July, followed by a dinner served to a 
thousand persons in Faneuil Hall. This union 
was formed primarily to fight for the ten-hour 
day, and the leading crusaders were the house car- 
penters, the ship carpenters, and the masons. Simi- 
lar unions presently sprang up in other cities, 
including Baltimore, Albany, Troy, Washington,, 
Newark, Schenectady, New Brunswick, Pittsburgh, 
Cincinnati, and St. Louis. By 1835 all the larger 
centers of industry were familiar with the idea, and 
most of them with the practice, of the trades organ- 
izations of a community uniting for action. 

The local unions were not unmindful of the need 
for wider action, either through a national union 
of all the organizations of a single trade, or through 
a union of all the different trades unions. Both 
courses of action were attempted. In 1834 the 
National Trades Union came into being and from 
that date held annual national conventions of all 
the trades until the panic of 1837 obliterated the 
movement. When the first convention was called, 
it was estimated that there were some S6,50 mem- 
bers of trades unions then in the United States. 
Of these 11,500 were in New York and its vicinity, 
6000 in Philadelphia, 4000 in Boston, and 3500 
in Baltimore. Meanwhile a movement was under 


way to federate the unions of a single trade. 
In 1835 the cordwainers attending the National 
Trades Union formed a preliminary organization 
and called a national cordwainers' convention. 
This met in New York in March, 1836, and in- 
cluded forty-live delegates from New York, New 
Jersey, Delaware, and Connecticut. In the fall 
of 1836 the comb-makers, the carpenters, the 
hand-loom weavers, and the printers likewise or- 
ganized separate national unions or alliances, 
and several other trades made tentative efforts 
by correspondence to organize themselves in the 
same manner. 

Before the dire year of 1837, there are, then, to 
be found the beginnings of most of the elements of 
modern labor organizations benevolent societies 
and militant orders; political activities and trades 
activities; amalgamations of local societies of the 
same trades and of all trades; attempts at national 
organization on the part of both the local trades 
unions and of the local trade unions; a labor press 
to keep alive the interest of the workman; mass 
meetings, circulars, conventions, and appeals to 
arouse the interest of the public in the issues of the 
hour. The persistent demand of the workingmen 
was for a ten-hour day. Harriet Martineau, who 


traveled extensively through the United States, re- 
marked that all the strikes she heard of were on 
the question of hours, not wages. But there were 
nevertheless abundant strikes either to raise wages 
or to maintain them. There were, also, other 
fundamental questions in controversy which could 
not be settled by strikes, such as imprisonment for 
debt, lien and exemption and homestead laws, 
convict labor and slave labor, and universal edu- 
cation. Most of these issues have since that time 
been decided in favor of labor, and a new series 
of demands takes their place today. Yet as one 
reads the records of the early conspiracy cases or 
thumbs through the files of old periodicals, he 
learns that there is indeed nothing new under the 
sun and that, while perhaps the particular issues 
have changed, the general methods and the spirit 
of the contest remain the same. 

The laborer believed then, as he does now, that 
his organization must be all-embracing. In those 
days also there were "scabs," often called "rats" 
or " dung. " Places under ban were systematically 
picketed, and warnings like the following were sent 
out: "We would caution all strangers and others 
who profess the art of horseshoeing, that if they go 
to work for any employer under the above prices, 


they must abide by the consequences." Usually 
the consequences were a fine imposed by the union, 
but sometimes they were more severe. Coercion 
by the union did not cease with the strike. Jour- 
neymen who were not members were pursued with 
assiduity and energy as soon as they entered a 
town and found work. The boycott, was a method 
early used against prison labor. New York stone- 
cutters agreed that they would not "either col- 
lectively or individually purchase any goods manu- 
factured 11 by convicts and that they would not 
"countenance" any merchants who dealt in them; 
and employers who incurred the displeasure of or- 
ganized labor were "nullified/ 1 

The use of the militia during strikes presented 
the same difficulties then as now. During the gen- 
eral strike in Philadelphia in 18155 there was con- 
siderable rowdyism, and Michel Chevalier, a keen 
observer of American life, wrote that "the militia 
looks on; the sheriff stands with folded hands." 
Nor was there any difference in the altitude of the 
laboring man towards unfavorable court, decisions. 
In the tailors" strike in New York in 183(1, for 
instance, twenty-seven thousand sympathizers as- 
sembled with bands and banners to protest, against 
the jury's verdict, and after sentence had been 

38 THE OF 

imposed upon the defendants, the lusty throng 
burned the judge in effigy. 

Sabotage is a new word, but the practice itself is 
old. In 1885 the striking cabinet-makers in New 
York smashed thousands of dollars 5 worth of chairs, 
tables, and sofas that had been imported from 
France, and the newspapers observed the signi- 
ficant fact that the destroyers boasted in a for- 
eign language that only American-made furniture 
should be sold in America. Houses were burned 
in Philadelphia because the contractors erecting 
them refused to grant the wages that were demand- 
ed. Vengeance was sometimes sought against new 
machinery that displaced hand labor. In June, 
1885, a New York paper remarked that "it is well 
known that many of the most obstinate turn-outs 
among workingmen and many of the most violent 
and lawless proceedings have been excited for the 
purpose of destroying newly invented machinery. " 
Such acts of wantonness, however, were few, even 
in those first tumultuous days of the thirties. 
Striking became in those days a sort of mania, and 
not a town that, had a mill or shop was exempt. 
Men struck for "grog or death," for "Liberty, 
Equality, and the Rights of Man, " and even for 
the right to smoke their pipes at work. 


Strike benefits, too, were known in this early 
period. Strikers in New York received assistance 
from Philadelphia, and Boston strikers were simi- 
larly aided by both New York and Philadelphia. 
When the high cost of living threatened to deprive 
the wage-earner of half his income, bread riots 
occurred in the cities, and handbills circulated 
in New York bore the legend : 




WITH the panic of 1837 the mills were closed, 
thousands of unemployed workers were thrown 
upon private charity, and, in the long years of 
depression which followed, trade unionism suffered 
a temporary eclipse. It was a period of social 
unrest in which all sorts of philanthropic reforms 
were suggested and tried out. Measured by later 
events, it was a period of transition, of social 
awakening, of aspiration tempered by the bitter 
experience of failure. 

In the previous decade Robert Owen, the dis- 
tinguished English social reformer and philanthro- 
pist, had visited America and had begun in 1826 
his famous colony at New Harmony, Indiana. 
His experiments at New Lanark, in England, 
had already made him known to working people 
the world over. Whatever may be said of his 
quaint attempts to reduce society to a common 



denominator, it is certain that his arrival in Ameri- 
ca, at a time when people's minds were open to 
all sorts of economic suggestions, had a stimu- 
lating effect upon labor reforms and led, in the 
course of time, to the founding of some forty 
communistic colonies, most of them in New York, 
Pennsylvania, and Ohio. "We are all a little wild 
here with numberless projects of social reform/* 
wrote Emerson to Thomas Carlyle; u not a reading 
man but has the draft of a new community in his 
waistcoat pocket." One of these experiments, at 
Red Bank, New Jersey, lasted for thirteen years, 
and another, in Wisconsin, for six years. But most 
of them after a year or two gave up the struggle. 
Of these failures, the best known is Brook Farm, 
an intellectual community founded in 1841 by 
George Ripley at West Roxbury, Massachusetts. 
Six years later the project was abandoned and is 
now remembered as an example of the futility of 
trying to leaven a world of realism by means of an 
atom of transcendental idealism. In a sense, how- 
ever, Brook Farm typifies this period of transition. 
It was a time of vagaries and longings. People 
seemed to be conscious of the fact that a new social 
solidarity was dawning. It is not strange, there- 
fore, that while the railroads were feeling their 


way from town to town and across the prairies, 
while water-power and steam-power were multi- 
plying man's productivity, indicating that the old 
days were gone forever many curious dreams 
of a new order of things should be dreamed, nor 
that among them some should be ridiculous, some 
fantastic, and some unworthy, nor that, as the fu- 
tility of a universal social reform forced itself upon 
the dreamers, they merged the greater in the les- 
ser, the general in the particular, and sought an out- 
let in espousing some specific cause or attacking 
some particular evil. 

Those movements which had their inspiration in 
a genuine humanitarianism achieved great good. 
Now for the first time the blind, the deaf, the dumb, 
and the insane were made the object of social 
solicitude and communal care. The criminal, too, 
and the jail in which he was confined remained no 
longer utterly neglected. Men of the debtor class 
were freed from that medieval barbarism which 
gave the creditor the right to levy on the person of 
his debtor. Even the public schools were dragged 
out of their lethargy. When Horace Mann was 
appointed secretary of the newly created Massa- 
chusetts Board of Education in 1837, a new day 
dawned for American public schools. 


While these and other substantial improvements 
were under way, the charlatan and the faddist were 
not without their opportunities or their votaries. 
Spirit rapplngs beguiled or awed the villagers; 
thousands of religious zealots in 1844 abandoned 
their vocations and, drawing on white robes, 
awaited expectantly the second coming of Christ : 
every cult from free love to celibate austerity found 
zealous followers; the "new woman" declared her 
independence in short hair and bloomers; people 
sought so'" salvation in new health codes, in 
vegetarian boarding-houses, and in physical cul- 
ture cluL ; and some pursued the way to perfection 
through sensual religious exercises. 

In this seething milieu, this medley of practical 
humanitarianism and social fantasies, the labor 
movement was revived. In the forties, Thomas 
Mooney, an observant Irish traveler who had 
spent several years in the United States wrote 
as follows J : 

The average value of a common uneducated labourer is 
eighty cents a day. Of educated or mechanical la- 
bour, one hundred twenty-five and two hundred 
cents a day; of female labour forty cents a day. 
Against meat, flour, vegetables, and groceries at 

*Nine Years in America (1850), p. 22. 


one-third less than they rate in Great Britain and 
Ireland; against clothing, house rent and fuel at about 
equal; against public taxes at about three-fourths less; 
and a certainty of employment, and a facility of ac- 
quiring homes and lands, and education for children, 
a hundred to one greater. The further you penetrate 
into the country, Patrick, the higher in general will you. 
find the value of labour, and the cheaper the price of all 
kinds of living. . . . The food of the American farm- 
er, mechanic or labourer is the best I believe enjoyed 
by any similar classes in the whole world. At every 
meal there is meat or fish or both; indeed I think the 
women, children, and sedentary classes eat too much 
meat for their own good health. 

This highly optimistic picture, writter >jy a san- 
guine observer from the land of greatest agrarian 
oppression, must be shaded by contrasting details. 
The truck system of payment, prevalent in mining 
regions and many factory towns, reduced the ac- 
tual wage by almost one-half. In the cities, un- 
skilled immigrants had so overcrowded the com- 
mon labor market that competition had reduced 
them to a pitiable state. Hours of labor were 
generally long in the factories. As a rule only the 
skilled artisan had achieved the ten-hour day, 
and then only in isolated instances. Woman's 
labor was the poorest paid, and her condition 
was the most neglected. A visitor to Lowell in 


1846 thus describes the conditions in an average 
factory of that town: 

In Lowell live between seven and eight thousand 
young women, who are generally daughters of farmers 
of the different States of New England. Some of them 
are members of families that were rich the generation 
before, . . . The operatives work thirteen hours a 
day in the summer lime, and from daylight to dark 
in the winter. At half-past four in the morning the 
factory boll rings and at five the girls must be in the 
mills. A clerk, placed as a watch, observes those 
who are a few minutes behind the time, and effectual 
means are taken to stimulate punctuality. ... At 
seven the girls are allowed thirty minutes for break- 
fast, and at noon thirty minutes more for dinner, 
except during the first quarter of the year, when the 
time is extended to forty-five minutes. But within 
this time they must hurry to their boarding-houses 
and return to the factory. ... At seven o'clock in 
the evening the factory bell sounds the close of the 
day's work. 

It was under these conditions that the coopera- 
tive movement had its brief day of experiment. As 
early as 1828 the workmen of Philadelphia and Cin- 
cinnati had begun cooperative stores. The Phila- 
delphia group were "fully persuaded," accord- 
ing to their constitution, "that nothing short of 
an entire change in the present regulation of trade 
and commerce will ever be permanently beneficial 


to the productive part of the community/'' But 
their little shop survived competition for only a 
few months. The Cincinnati " Cooperative Maga- 
zine" was a sort of combination of store and shop, 
where various trades were taught, but it also soon 

In 1845 the New England Workingmen's Associ- 
ation organized a protective union for the purpose 
of obtaining for its members "steady and profitable 
employment" and of saving the retailer's profit for 
the purchaser. This movement had a high moral 
flavor. "The dollar was to us of minor impor- 
tance; humanitary and not mercenary were our 
motives," reported their committee on organiza- 
tion of industry. "We must proceed from com- 
bined stores to combined shops, from combined 
shops to combined homes, to joint ownership in 
God's earth, the foundation that our edifice must 
stand upon. " In this ambitious spirit u they com- 
menced business with a box of soap and half a 
chest of tea. " In 185 they had 167 branches, a 
capital of $241,712.66, and a business of nearly 
$2,000,000 a year. 

In the meantime similar cooperative movements 
began elsewhere. The tailors of Boston struck for 
higher wages in 1850 and, after fourteen weeks of 


futile struggle, decided that their salvation lay in 
cooperation rather than in trade unionism, which 
at best afforded only temporary relief. About 
seventy of them raised $700 as a cooperative 
nest egg and netted a profit of $510.60 the first 
year. In the same year the Philadelphia printers, 
disappointed at their failure to force a higher wage, 
organized a cooperative printing press. 

The movement spread to New York, where a 
strike of the tailors was in progress. The strikers 
were addressed at a great mass meeting by Albert 
Brisbane, an ardent disciple of Fourier, the French 
social economist, and were told that they must do 
away with servitude to capital. "What we want 
to know/' said Brisbane, "is how to change, peace- 
fully, the system of today. The first great princi- 
ple is combination." Another meeting was ad- 
dressed by a German, a follower of Karl Marx, who 
littered in his native tongue these words that sound 
like a modern I. W. W. prophet: "Many of us have 
fought for liberty in the fatherland. We came 
here because we were opposed, and what have we 
gained? Nothing but misery, hunger, and tread- 
ing down. But we are in a free country and it is our 
fault if we do not get our rights. . . . Let those 
who strike eat; the rest starve. Butchers and 


bakers must withhold supplies. Yes. they must 
all strike, and then the aristocrat will starve. We 
must have a revolution. We cannot submit any 
longer." The cry of "Revolution! Revolution!" 
was taken up by the throng. 

In the midst of this agitation a New York 
branch of the New England Protective Union was 
organized as an attempt at peaceful revolution 
by cooperation. The New York Protective Union 
went a step farther than the New England Union. 
Its members established their own shops and so 
became their own employers. And in many other 
cities striking workmen and eager reformers joined 
hands in modest endeavors to change the face of 
things. The revolutionary movements of Europe 
at this period were having a seismic effect upon 
American labor. But all these attempts of the 
workingmen to tourney a ro^gh world with a needle 
were foredoomed to failure. Lacking the essential 
business experience and the ability to cooperate, 
they were soon undone, and after a few years 
little more was heard of cooperation. 

In the meantime another economic movement 
gained momentum under the leadership of George 
Henry Evans, who was a land reformer and may 
be called a precursor of Henry George. Evans 


inaugurated a campaign for free farms to entice to 
the land the unprosperous toilers of the city. In 
spite of the vast areas of the public domain still un- 
occupied, the cities were growing denser and larger 
and filthier by reason of the multitudes from Ire- 
land and other countries who preferred to cast them- 
selves into the eager maw of factory towns rather 
than go out as agrarian pioneers. To such Evans 
and other agrarian reformers made their appeal. 
For example, a handbill distributed everywhere in 
1846 asked: 

Are you an American citizen? Then you are a joint- 
owner of the public lands. Why not take enough of 
your property to provide yourself a home? Why not 
vote yourself a farm? 

Are you a party follower? Then you have long 
enough employed your vote to benefit scheming office 
seekers. Use it for once to benefit yourself: Vote 
yourself a farm. 

Are you tired of slavery of drudging for others 
of poverty and its attendant miseries? Then, vote 
yourself a farm. 

Would you free your country and the sons of toil 
everywhere from the heartless, irresponsible mastery 
of the aristocracy of avarice? . . . Then join with 
your neighbors to form a true American party . . . 
whose chief measures will be first to limit the quantity 
of land that any one may henceforth monopolize or 
inherit: and second to make the public lands free to 

50 THE OF 

actual settlers only, each having the right to sell his 
Improvements to any man not possessed of other lands, 

"Vote yourself a farm' 5 became a popular shib- 
boleth and a part of the standard programme of 
organized labor. The donation of public lands to 
heads of families, on condition of occupancy and 
cultivation for a term of years, was proposed in bills 
repeatedly introduced in Congress. But the cry of 
opposition went up from the older States that 
they would be bled for the sake of the newer, that 
giving land to the landless was encouraging idle- 
ness and wantonness and spreading demoralization, 
and that Congress had no more power to give away 
land than it had to give away money. These argu- 
ments had their effect at the Capitol, and it was not 
until the new Republican party came into power 
pledged to "a complete and satisfactory home- 
stead measure" that the Homestead Act of 1862 
was placed on the statute books. 

A characteristic manifestation of the humani- 
tarian impulse of the forties was the support given 
to labor in its renewed demand for a ten-hour 
day. It has already been indicated how this 
movement started in the thirties, how its object was 
achieved by a few highly organized trades, and how 
it was interrupted in its progress by the panic of 


1837. The agitation, however, to make the ten- 
hour day customary throughout the country was 
not long in coining back to life. In March, 1840, 
an executive order of "President Van Buren declar- 
ing ten hours to be the working day for laborers 
and mechanics in government employ forced the 
issue upon private employers. The earliest con- 
certed action, it would seem, arose in New Eng- 
land, where the New England Workingmen's As- 
sociation, later called the Labor Reform League,, 
carried on the crusade. In 1845 a committee 
appointed by the Massachusetts Legislature to 
investigate labor conditions affords the first in- 
stance on record of an American legislature con- 
cerning itself with the affairs of the labor world 
to the extent of ordering an official investigation. 
The committee examined a number of factory oper- 
atives, both men and women, visited a few of the 
mills, gathered some statistics, and made certain 
neutral and specious suggestions. They believed 
the remedy for such evils as they discovered lay not 
in legislation but "in the progressive improvement 
in art and science, in a higher appreciation of 
man's destiny, in a less love for money, and a more 
ardent love for social happiness and intellectual 
superiority. " 


The first ten-hour law was passed in 1847 by the 
New Hampshire Legislature. It provided that 
"ten hours of actual labor shall be taken to be a 
day's work, unless otherwise agreed to by the par- 
ties, 5S and that no minor under fifteen years of age 
should be employed more than ten hours a day 
without the consent of parent or guardian. This 
was the unassuming beginning of a movement to 
have the hours of toil fixed by society rather 
than by contract. This law of New Hampshire, 
which was destined to have a widespread influence, 
was hailed by the workmen everywhere with de- 
light; mass meetings and processions proclaimed 
it as a great victory; and only the conservatives 
prophesied the worthlessness of such legislation. 
Horace Greeley sympathetically dissected the bill 
He had little faith, it is true, in legislative inter- 
ference with private contracts. "But," he asks, 
"who can seriously doubt that it is the duty of 
the Commonwealth to sec that the tender frames 
of its youth are not shattered by excessively pro- 
tracted toil? . . . Will any one pretend that ten 
hours per day, especially at confining and mono- 
tonous avocations which tax at once the brain 
and the sinews are not quite enough for any child 
to labor statedly and steadily?" The consent of 


guardian or parent he thought a fraud against the 
child that could be averted only by the positive 
command of the State specifically limiting the hours 
of child labor. 

In the following year Pennsylvania enacted a 
law declaring ten hours a legal day in certain indus- 
tries and forbidding children under twelve from 
working in cotton, woolen, silk, or flax mills. 
Children over fourteen, however, could, by special 
arrangement with parents or guardians, be com- 
pelled to work more than ten hours a day. "This 
act is very much of a humbug," commented 
Greeley, "but it will serve a good end. Those 
whom it was intended to put asleep will come back 
again before long, and, like Oliver Twist, Vant 
some more. ' " 

The ten-hour movement had thus achieved so- 
cial recognition. It had the stanch support of 
such men as Wendell Phillips, Edward Everett, 
Horace Greeley, and other distinguished publicists 
and philanthropists. Public opinion was becom- 
ing so strong that both the Whigs and Democrats 
in their party platforms declared themselves in 
favor of the ten-hour day. When, in the sum- 
mer of 1847, the British Parliament passed a ten- 
hour law, American unions sent congratulatory 


messages to the British workmen. Gradually the 
various States followed the example of New Hamp- 
shire and Pennsylvania New Jersey in 1851, 
Ohio in 1852, and Rhode Island in 1853 and 
the " ten-hour system" was legally established. 

But it was one thing to write a statute and an- 
other to enforce it. American laws were, after 
all, based upon the ancient Anglo-Saxon principle 
of private contract. A man could agree to work 
for as many hours as he chose, and each employ- 
er could drive his own bargain. The cotton mill 
owners of Allegheny City, for example, declared 
that they would be compelled to run their mills 
twelve hours a day. They would not, of course, 
employ children under twelve, although they felt 
deeply concerned for the widows who would there- 
by lose the wages of their children. But they must 
run on a twelve-hour schedule to meet compe- 
tition from other States. So they attempted to 
make special contracts with each employee. The 
workmen objected to this and struck. Finally 
they compromised on a ten-hour day and a sixteen 
per cent reduction in wages. Such an arrangement 
became a common occurrence in the industrial 
world of the middle of the century. 

In the meantime the factory system was rapidly 


recruiting women workers, especially in the New 
England textile mills. Indeed, as early as 1825 
"tailoresses" of New York and other cities had 
formed protective societies. In 1829 the mill girls 
of Dover, New Hampshire, caused a sensation by 
striking. Several hundred of them paraded the 
streets and, according to accounts, "fired off a 
lot of gunpowder. 5J In 1836 the women workers 
in the Lowell factories struck for higher wages and 
later organized a Factory Girls' Association which 
included more than 2,500 members. It was aimed 
against the strict regimen of the boarding houses, 
which were owned and managed by the mills. 
"As our fathers resisted unto blood the lordly ava- 
rice of the British Ministry," cried the strikers, 
"so we, their daughters, never will wear the yoke 
which has been prepared for us." 

In this vibrant atmosphere was born the power- 
ful woman's labor union, the Female Labor Reform 
Association, later called the Lowell Female Indus- 
trial Reform and Mutual Aid Society. Lowell 
became the center of a far-reaching propaganda 
characterized by energy and a definite conception 
of what was wanted , The women joined in strikes, 
carried banners, sent delegates to the labor con- 
ventions, and were zealous in propaganda. It was 

56 THE OF 

the women workers of Massachusetts who first 
forced the legislature to investigate labor condi- 
tions and who aroused public sentiment to a pitch 
that finally compelled the enactment of laws for 
the bettering of their conditions. When the mill 
owners in Massachusetts demanded in 1846 that 
their weavers tend four looms instead of three, the 
women promptly resolved that "we will not tend 
a fourth loom unless we receive the same pay per 
piece as on three. . . . This we most solemnly 
pledge ourselves to obtain. " 

In New York, in 1845, the Female Industry 
Association was organized at a large meeting 
held in the court house. It included "tailoresses, 
plain and coarse sewing, shirt makers, book-fold- 
ers and stickers, capmakers, straw-workers, dress- 
makers, crimpers, fringe and lacemakers, " and 
other trades open to women "who were like op- 
pressed. " The New York Herald reported "about 
700 females generally of the most interesting 
age and appearance" in attendance. The presi- 
dent of the meeting unfolded a pitiable condi- 
tion of affairs. She mentioned several employers 
by name who paid only from ten to eighteen cents 
a day, and she stated that, after acquiring skill 
in some of the trades and by working twelve 


to fourteen hours a day, a woman might earn 
twenty-five cents a day! "How is it possible/ 5 
she exclaimed., "that at such an income we can 
support ourselves decently and honestly? 3 " 

So we come to the fifties, when the rapid rise 
In the cost of living due to the influx of gold from 
the newly discovered California mines created new 
economic conditions. By 1853, the cost of living 
had risen so high that the length of the working 
day was quite forgotten because of the utter inade- 
quacy of the wage to meet the new altitude of 
prices. Hotels issued statements that they were 
compelled to raise their rates for board from a 
dollar and a half to two dollars a day. News- 
papers raised their advertising rates. Drinks went 
up irom six cents to ten and twelve and a half 
cents. In Baltimore, the men in the Baltimore 
and Ohio Railway shops struck. They were fol- 
lowed by all the conductors, brakemen, and loco- 
motive engineers. Machinists employed in other 
shops soon joined them, and the city's industries 
were virtually paralyzed. In New York nearly 
every indus try was stopped by strikes. In Philadel- 
phia, Boston, Pittsburgh, in cities large and small, 
the striking workmen made their demands known, 

By this time thoughtful laborers had learned the 


futility of programmes that attempted to reform 
society. They had watched the birth and death 
of many experiments. They had participated in 
short-lived cooperative stores and shops; they had 
listened to Owen's alluring words and had seen 
his World Convention meet and adjourn; had wit- 
nessed national reform associations, leagues, and 
industrial congresses issue their high-pitched reso- 
lutions; and had united on legislative candidates. 
And yet the old world wagged on in the old way. 
Wages and hours and working conditions could be 
changed, they had learned, only by coercion. This 
coercion could be applied, in general reforms, only 
by society, by stress of public opinion. But in 
concrete cases, in their own personal environment, 
the coercion had to be first applied by themselves. 
They had learned the lesson of letting the world 
in general go its way while they attended to their 
own business. 

In the early fifties, then, a new species of union 
appears. It discards lofty phraseology and the 
attempt at world-reform and it becomes simply a 
trade union. It restricts its house-cleaning to its 
own shop, limits its demands to its trade, asks 
for a minimum wage and minimum hours, and lays 
out with considerable detail the conditions under 


which its members will work. The weapons in its 
arsenal are not new the strike and the boycott. 
Now that he has learned to distinguish essentials., 
the new trade unionist can bargain with his em- 
ployer, and as a result trade agreements stipu- 
lating hours, wages, and conditions, take the place 
of the desultory and ineffective settlements which 
had hitherto issued from labor disputes. But it 
was not without foreboding that this development 
was witnessed by the adherents of the status quo. 
According to a magazine writer of 1853: 

After prescribing the rate of remuneration many of the 
Trades' Unions go to enact laws for the government of 
the respective departments, to all of which the employ- 
er must assent, . . . The result even thus far is that 
there is found no limit to this species of encroachment. 
If workmen may dictate the hours and mode of service, 
and the number and description of hands to be em- 
ployed, they may also regulate other items of the 
business with which their labor is connected. Thus 
we find that within a few days, in the city of New 
York, the longshoremen have taken by force from their 
several stations the horses and labor-saving gear used 
for delivering cargoes, it being part of their regulations 
not to allow of such competition. 

The gravitation towards common action was 
felt over a wide area during this period. Some 
trades met in national convention to lay down 

60 THE OF 

rules for their craft. One of the earliest national 
meetings was that of the carpet-weavers (1846) in 
New York City, when thirty-four delegates, repre- 
senting over a thousand operatives, adopted rules 
and took steps to prevent a reduction in wages. 
The National Convention of Journeymen Printers 
met in 1850, and out of this emerged two years 
later an organization called the National Typo- 
graphical Union, which ten years later still, on 
the admission of some Canadian unions, became 
the International Typographical Union of North 
America; and as such it flourishes today. In 1855 
the Journeymen Stone Cutters' Association of 
North America was organized and in the following 
year the National Trade Association of Hat Finish- 
ers, the forerunner of the United Hatters of North 
America. In 1859 the Iron Holders' Union of 
North America began its aggressive career. 

The conception of a national trade unity was 
now well formed; compactly organized national 
and local trade unions with very definite industrial 
aims were soon to take the place of ephemeral, 
loose-jointed associations with vast and vague 
ambitions. Early in this period a new impetus 
was given to organized labor by the historic de- 
cision of Chief Justice Shaw of Massachusetts in 


n, case * brought against seven bootmakers charged 
with conspiracy. Their offense consisted in at- 
tempting to induce all the workmen of a given 
shop to join the union and compel the master 
to employ only union men. The trial court found 
them guilty; hut the Chief Justice decided that 
he did not "perceive that it is criminal for men to 
agree together to exercise their own acknowledged 
rights in such a manner as best to subserve their 
own interests." In order to show criminal con- 
spiracy, therefore, on the part of a labor union, 
it was necessary to prove that either the intent or 
the method was criminal, for it was not a criminal 
offense to combine for the purpose of raising wages 
or bettering conditions or seeking to have all la- 
borers join the union. The liberalizing influence 
of this decision upon labor law can hardly be 

The period closed amidst general disturbances 
and forebodings, political and economic. In 1857 
occurred a panic which thrust the problem of 
unemployment, on a vast scale, before the Ameri- 
can consciousness. Instead of demanding higher 
wages, multitudes now cried for work. The march- 
ing masses, in New York, carried banners asking 

1 Commonwealth vs. Hunt. 


for bread, while soldiers from Governor's Island 
and marines from the Navy Yard guarded the Cus- 
tom House and the Sub-Treasury. From Phila- 
delphia to New Orleans, from Boston to Chicago, 
came the same story of banks failing, railroads 
in bankruptcy, factories closing, idle and hungry 
throngs moving restlessly through the streets. In 
New York 40,000, in Lawrence 3500, in Philadel- 
phia 20,000, were estimated to be out of work. 
Labor learned anew that its prosperity was inalien- 
ably identified with the well-being of industry and 
commerce; and society learned that hunger and 
idleness are the golden opportunity of the dema- 
gogue and agitator. The word u socialism" now 
appears more and more frequently in the daily 
press and always a synonym of destruction or of 
something to be feared. No sooner had business 
revived than the great shadow of internal strife 
was cast over the land, and for the duration of the 
Civil War the peril of the nation absorbed all the 
energies of the people* 



AFTER Appomattox, every one seemed bent oil 
finding a, short cut to opulence. To foreign obser- 
vers, the United States was then simply a scram- 
bling mass of selfish units, for there seemed to be 
among the American people no disinterested group 
to balance accounts between the competing ele- 
ments - no leisure class, living on secured incomes, 

mellowed by generations of travel, education, and 
reflection; no bureaucracy arbitrarily guiding the 
details of governmental routine; no aristocracy,, 
born umpires of the doings of their underlings. All 
the manifold currents of life seemed swallowed up 
in the commercial maelstrom. By the standards 
of what happened in this season of exuberance 
and intense materialism, the American people were 
hastily judged by critics who failed to see that 
the period was but the prelude to a maturer 
national life. 



It was a period of a remarkable industrial expan- 
sion. Then "plant" became a new word in the 
phraseology of the market place, denoting the 
enlarged factory or mill and suggesting the hardy 
perennial, each succeeding year putting forth new 
shoots from its side. The products of this seed- 
time are seen in the colossal industrial growths of 
today. Then it was that short railway lines began 
to be welded into "systems," that the railway 
builders began to strike out into the prairies and 
mountains of the West, and that partnerships 
began to be merged into corporations and corpora- 
tions into trusts, ever reaching out for the great- 
er markets. Meanwhile the inventive genius of 
America was responding to the call of the time. 
In 1877 Bell telephoned from Boston to Salem; 
two years later, Brush lighted by electricity the 
streets of San Francisco. In 188$ Edison was 
making incandescent electric lights for New York 
and operating his first electric car in Menlo Park, 
New Jersey. 

All these developments created a new demand 
for capital. Where formerly a manufacturer had 
made products to order or for a small number of 
known customers, now he made on speculation, for 
a great number of unknown customers, taking 


Ms risks In distant markets. Where formerly the 
banker had lent money on local security, now he 
gave credit to vast enterprises far away. New in- 
ventions or industrial processes brought on new 
speculations. This new demand for capital made 
necessary a new system of credits, which was erect- 
ed at first, as the recurring panics disclosed, on 
sand, but gradually, through costly experience, on 
a more stable foundation. 

The economic and industrial development of the 
time demanded not only new money and credit but 
new men. A new type of executive was wanted, 
and he soon appeared to satisfy the need. Neither 
a capitalist nor a merchant, he combined in some 
degree the functions of both, added to them the 
greater function of industrial manager, and received 
from great business concerns a high premium for 
his talent and foresight. This Captain of Industry, 
as he has been called, is the foremost figure of the 
period, the hero of the industrial drama. 

But much of what is admirable in that generation 
of nation builders is obscured by the Industrial an- 
archy which prevailed. Everybody was for himself 
and the devil was busy harvesting the hindmost, 
There were " rate- wars," " cut-rate sales," secret in- 
trigues, and rebates; and there were* subterranean 

66 THE OF 

passages some, indeed, scarcely under the sur- 
face to council chambers, executive mansions, 
and Congress. There were extreme fluctuations 
of industry: prosperity was either at a very high 
level or depression at a very low one. Prosperity 
would bring on an expansion, of credits, a rise in 
prices, higher cost of living, strikes and boycotts 
for higher wages; then depression would follow 
with the shutdown and that most distressing of so- 
cial diseases, unemployment. During the panic of 
1873-74 many thousands of men marched the 
streets crying earnestly for work. 

Between the panics, strikes became a part of the 
economic routine of the country. They were ex- 
pected, just as pay days and legal holidays are 
expected. Now for the first time came strikes that 
can only be characterized as stupendous. They 
were not mere slight economic disturbances; they 
were veritable industrial earthquakes. In 1873 
the coal miners of Pennsylvania, resenting the 
truck system and the miserable housing which the 
mine owners forced upon them, struck by the tens 
of thousands. In Illinois, Indiana, Missouri, Mary- 
land, Ohio, and New York strikes occurred in all 
sorts of industries. There were the usual parades 
and banners, some appealing, some insulting, and 


all the while the militia guarded property. In 
July, 1877, the men of the Baltimore and Ohio 
Railroad refused to submit to a fourth reduction 
in wages in seven years and struck. From Balti- 
more Ihe resentment spread to Pennsylvania and 
culminated with riots in Pittsburgh. All the an- 
thracite coal miners struck, followed by most of the 
bituminous miners of Ohio, Indiana, and Illinois. 
The militia, were impotent to subdue the mobs; 
Federal troops had to be sent by President Hayes 
into many of the States; and a proclamation by the 
President commanded all citizens to keep the peace. 
Thus was Federal authority introduced to bolster 
up the administrative weakness of the States, and 
the first step was taken on the road to industrial 

The turmoil had hardly subsided when, in 1880, 
new strikes broke out. In the long catalogue of the 
strikers of that year are found the ribbon weavers of 
Philadelphia,, Paterson, and New York, the stable- 
men of New York, New Jersey, and San Francisco, 
the cotton yard workers of New Orleans, the cotton 
weavers of New England and New York, the stock- 
yard employees of Chicago and Omaha, the potters 
of Green Point, Long Island, the puddlers of Johns- 
town and Columbia, Pennsylvania, the machinists 


of Buffalo, the tailors of New York, and the shoe- 
makers of Indiana. The year 1882 was scarcelj 
less restive. But 1886 is marked in labor annals 
as "the year of the great uprising/* when twice 
as many strikes as in any previous year were re- 
ported by the United States Commissioner of La- 
bor, and when these strikes reached a tragic climas 
b the Chicago Haymarket riots. 

It was during this feverish epoch that organized 
labor first entered the arena of national politics. 
When the policy as to the national currency be- 
came an issue, the lure of cheap money drew labor 
into an alliance in 1880 with the Greenbackers, 
whose mad cry added to the general unrest. In 
this, as in other fatuous pursuits, labor was only 
responding to the forces and the spirit of the 
hour. These have been called the years of amal- 
gamation, but they were also the years of tumult, 
for, while amalgamation was achieved, discipline 
was not. Authority imposed from within was not 
sufficient to overcome the decentralizing forces, and 
just as big business had yet to learn by self-imposed 
discipline how to overcome the extremely indi- 
vidualistic tendencies which resulted in trade 
anarchy, so labor had yet to learn through disci- 
pline the lessons of self-restraint. Moreover, in the 


sudden expansion and great enterprises of these 
days, labor even more than capital lost in stability. 
One great steadying influence, the old personal rela- 
tion between master and servant,, which prevailed 
during the days of handicraft and even of the 
small factory, had disappeared almost completely. 
Now labor was put up on the market a heart- 
less term descriptive of a condition from which hu- 
man beings might be expected to react violent- 
ly and they did, for human nature refused to 
be an inert, marketable thing. 

The labor market must expand with the trader's 
market. In 1860 there were about one and a third 
million wage-earners in the United States; in 1870 
well over two million; in 1880 nearly two and 
three-quarters million; and in 1890 over four and a 
quarter million . The ci ty sucked them in from the 
country; but by far the larger augmentation came 
from Europe; and the immigrant, normally opti- 
mistic, often untaught, sometimes sullen and filled 
with a destructive resentment, and always accus- 
tomed to low standards of living, added to the 
armies of labor his vast and complex bulk. 

There were two paramount issues wages and 
the hours of labor to which all other issues were 
and always have been secondary. Wages tend 


constantly to become inadequate 'when the stand* 
ard of living is steadily rising, and they consequent- 
ly require periodical readjustment. Hours of labor, 
of course, are not subject in the same degree to 
external conditions. But the tendency has always 
been toward a shorter day. In a previous chap- 
ter, the inception of the ten-hour movement, was 
outlined. Presently there began the eight-hour 
movement. As early as 1842 the carpenters and 
caulkers of the Charleston Navy Yard achieved an 
eight-hour day; but 1863 may more properly be 
taken as the beginning of the movement. In this 
year societies were organized in Boston and its vi- 
cinity for the precise purpose of winning the eight- 
hour day, and soon afterwards a national Eight- 
Hour League was established with local leagues 
extending from New England to San Francisco 
and New Orleans. 

This movement received an intelligible philoso- 
phy, and so a new vitality, from Ira Steward, 
a member of the Boston Machinists' and Black- 
smiths' Union. Writing as a workingman for work- 
ingmen, Steward found in the standard of living 
the true reason for a shorter workday. With beau- 
tiful simplicity he pointed out to the laboring man 
that the shorter period of labor would not mean 


smaller pay, and to the employer that it would not 
mean a diminished output. On the contrary, it 
would be mutually beneficial, for the unwearied 
workman could produce as much in the shorter day 
as the wearied workman in the longer. " As long/' 
Steward wrote, "as tired human hands do most of 
the world's hard work, the sentimental pretense 
of honoring and respecting the horny-handed 
toiler is as false and absurd as the idea that a 
solid foundation for a house can be made out of 
soap bubbles." 

In 1865 Steward's pamphlet, A Reduction of Hours' 
and Increase of Wages, was widely circulated by 
the Boston Labor Reform Association. It em- 
phasized the value of leisure and its beneficial re- 
flex effect upon both production and consumption. 
Gradually these well reasoned and conservatively 
expressed doctrines found champions such as 
Wendell Phillips, Henry Ward Beecher, and Hor- 
ace Greeley to give them wider publicity and to 
impress them upon the public consciousness. In 
1867 Illinois, Missouri, and New York passed 
eight-hour laws and Wisconsin declared eight hours 
a day's work for women and children. In 1868 
Congress established an eight-hour day for public 
work. These were promising signs, though the 

72 THE OF 

battle was still far from being won. The eight- 
hour day has at last received "the sanction of 
society" to use the words of President Wilson 
in his message to Congress in 1916, when he called 
for action to avert a great railway strike. But to 
win that sanction required over half a century of 
popular agitation, discussion, and economic and 
political evolution. 

Such, in brief, were the general business con- 
ditions of the country and the issues which en- 
gaged the energies of labor reformers during the 
period following the Civil War. Meanwhile great 
changes were made in labor organizations. Many 
of the old unions were reorganized, and numer- 
ous local amalgamations took place. Most of the 
organizations now took the form of secret socie- 
ties whose initiations were marked with nai've for- 
malism and whose routines were directed by a 
group of officers with royal titles and fortified by 
signs, passwords, and ritual. Some of these or- 
ders decorated the faithful with high-sounding 
degrees. The societies adopted fantastic names 
such as "The Supreme Mechanical Order of the 
Sun," "The Knights of St. Crispin," and "The 
Noble Order of the Knights of Labor," of which 
more presently. 


Meanwhile, too, there was a growing desire to 
unify the workers of the country by some sort of 
national organization. The outcome was a notable 
Labor Congress held at Baltimore in August, 1866, 
which included all kinds of labor organizations 
and was attended by seventy-seven delegates from 
thirteen States. In the light of subsequent events 
its resolutions now seem conservative and con- 
structive. This Congress believed that, "all re- 
forms in the labor movement can only be effected by 
an intelligent, systematic effort of the industrial 
classes . . . through the trades organizations. " Of 
strikes it declared that "they have been injudicious 
and ill-advised, the result of impulse rather than 
principle, . . . and we would therefore discounte- 
nance them except as a dernier ressort, and when all 
means for an amicable and honorable adjustment 
has been abandoned." It issued a cautious and 
carefully phrased Address to the Workmen through- 
out the Country, urging them to organize and assur- 
ing them that "the first thing to be accomplished 
before we can hope for any great results is 
the thorough organization of all the departments 
of labor/ 1 

The National Labor Union which resulted from 
this convention held seven Annual Congresses, 


and its proceedings show a statesmanlike conser- 
vatism and avoid extreme radicalism. This or- 
ganization, which at its high tide represented a 
membership of 640,000, in its brief existence was 
influential in three important matters: first, it 
pointed the way to national amalgamation and 
was thus a forerunner of more lasting efforts in 
this direction; secondly, it had a powerful influence 
in the eight-hour movement; and, thirdly, it was 
largely instrumental in establishing labor bureaus 
and in gathering statistics for the scientific study 
of labor questions. But the National Labor Union 
unfortunately went into politics; and politics 
proved its undoing. Upon affiliating with the 
Labor Reform party it dwindled rapidly, and after 
1871 it disappeared entirely. 

One of the typical organizations of the time 
was the Order of the Knights of St. Crispin, so 
named after the patron saint of the shoemakers,, 
and accessible only to members of that craft. It 
was first conceived in 1864 by Newell Daniels, a 
shoemaker in Milford, Massachusetts, but no or- 
ganization was effected until 1867, when the foun- 
der had moved to Milwaukee. The ritual and 
constitution he had prepared was accepted then by 
a group of seven shoemakers, and in four years 


this insignificant mustard seed had grown into a 
great tree. The story is told by Frank K. Foster, l 
who says, speaking of the order in 1868 : "It made 
and unmade politicians; it established a monthly 
journal; it started cooperative stores; it fought, 
often successfully, against threatened reductions 
of wages . . .; it became the undoubted foremost 
trade organization of the world. " But within five 
years the order was rent by factionalism and in 
1878 was acknowledged to be dead. It perished 
from various causes partly because it failed to 
assimilate or imbue with its doctrines the thou- 
sands of workmen who subscribed to its rules 
and ritual, partly because of the jealousy and 
treachery which is the fruitage of sudden pros- 
perity, partly because of failure to fulfill the fer- 
vent hopes of thousands who joined it as a prelude 
to the industrial millennium; but especially it failed 
to endure because it was founded on an economic 
principle which could not be imposed upon society. 
The rule which embraced this principle reads as 
follows: u No member of this Order shall teach, or 
aid in teaching, any fact or facts of boot or shoe- 
making, unless the lodge shall give permission by 

1 The Labor Movement, the Problem of Today, edited by George 
E. McNeil!, Chapter VIII. 


a three-fourths vote . . . provided that this arti- 
cle shall not be so construed as to prevent a father 
from teaching his own son. Provided also, that 
this article shall not be so construed as to hinder 
any member of this organization from learning any 
or all parts of the trade." The medieval craft 
guild could not so easily be revived in these days 
of rapid changes, when a new stitching machine 
replaced in a day a hundred workmen. And so 
the Knights of St. Crispin fell a victim to their 
own greed. 

The Noble Order of the Knights of Labor, an- 
other of those societies of workingmen, was organ- 
ized in November, 1869, by Uriah S. Stephens, a 
Philadelphia garment cutter, with the assistance 
of six fellow craftsmen. It has been said of Ste- 
phens that he was " a man of great force of char- 
acter, a skilled mechanic, with the love of books 
which enabled him to pursue his studies during 
his apprenticeship, and feeling withal a strong 
affection for secret organizations, having been for 
many years connected with the Masonic Order/* 
He was to have been educated for the ministry 
but, owing to financial reverses in his family, was 
obliged instead to learn a trade. Later he taught 
school for a few years, traveled extensively in 


the West Indies, South America, and California, 
and became an accomplished public speaker and 
a diligent observer of social conditions. 

Stephens and his six associates had witnessed 
the dissolution of the local garment cutters' union. 
They resolved that the new society should not be 
limited by the lines of their own trade but should 
embrace a all branches of honorable toil. " Subse- 
quently a rule was adopted stipulating that at 
least three-fourths of the membership of lodges 
must be wage-earners eighteen years of age. More- 
over, " no one who either sells or makes a living, or 
any part of it, by the sale of intoxicating drinks 
either as manufacturer, dealer, or agent, or through 
any member of his family, can be admitted to 
membership in this order; and no lawyer, bank- 
er, professional gambler, or stock broker can be 
admitted/' They chose their motto from Solon, 
the wisest of lawgivers: "That is the most per- 
fect government in which an injury to one is the 
concern of all"; and they took their preamble 
from Burke, the most philosophical of statesmen: 
"When bad men combine, the good must asso- 
ciate, else they will fall, one by one, an unpitied 
sacrifice in a contemptible struggle." 
The order was a secret society and for years 


kept Its name from the public. It was generally 
known as the "Five Stars," because of the five as- 
terisks that represented its name in all public no- 
tices. While mysterious initials and secret cere- 
monies gratified the members, they aroused a cor- 
responding antagonism, even fear, among the pub- 
lic, especially as the order grew to giant size. What 
were the potencies of a secret organization that had 
only to post a few mysterious words and symbols 
to gather hundreds of workingmen in their halls? 
And what plottings went on behind those locked 
and guarded doors? To allay public hostility se- 
crecy was gradually removed and in 1881 was en- 
tirely abolished not, however, without serious 
opposition from the older members. 

The atmosphere of high idealism in which the or- 
der had been conceived continued to be fostered by 
Stephens, its founder and its first Grand Mas- 
ter Workman. He extolled justice, discounte- 
nanced violence, and pleaded for "the mutual de- 
velopment and moral elevation of mankind. 1 ' His 
exhortations were free from that narrow class an- 
tagonism which frequently characterizes the utter- 
ances of labor. One of his associates, too, invoked 
the spirit of chivalry, of true knighthood, when he 
said that the old trade union had failed because "it 


had failed to recognize the rights of man and looked 
only to the rights of tradesmen/' that the labor 
movement needed "something that will develop 
more of charity, less of selfishness, more of gener- 
osity, less of stinginess and nearness, than the av- 
erage society has yet disclosed to its members." 
Nor were these ideas and principles betrayed by 
Stcphcns's successor, Terence V. Powderly, who 
became Grand Master in 1879 and served dur- 
ing the years when the order attained its greatest 
power. Powderly, also, was a conservative ideal- 
ist. His career may be regarded as a good ex- 
ample of the rise of many an American labor 
leader. He had been a poor boy. At thirteen he 
began work as a switchtender; at seventeen he was 
apprenticed as machinist; at nineteen he was ac- 
tive in a machinists' and blacksmiths' union. After 
working at his trade in various places, he at length 
settled in Scranton, Pennsylvania, and became 
one of the organizers of the Greenback Labor 
party. He was twice elected mayor of Scranton, 
and might have been elected for a third term had 
he not declined to serve, preferring to devote all 
his time to the society of which he was Grand 
Master. The obligations laid upon every member 
of the Knights of Labor were impressive: 


Labor is noble and holy. To defend it from degrada- 
tion; to divest it of the evils to body, mind and estate 
which ignorance and greed have imposed ; to rescue the 
toiler from the grasp of the selfish is a work worthy 
of the noblest and best of our race. In all the multi- 
farious branches of trade capital has its combinations; 
and, whether intended or not, it crushes the manly 
hopes of labor and tramples poor humanity in the 
dust. We mean no conflict with legitimate enterprise, 
no antagonism to necessary capital; but men in their 
haste and greed, blinded by self-interests, overlook the 
interests of others and sometimes violate the rights 
of those they deem helpless. We mean to uphold the 
dignity of labor, to affirm the nobility of all who earn 
their bread by the sweat of their brows. We mean to 
create a healthy public opinion on the subject of labor 
(the only creator of values or capital) arid the justice 
of its receiving a full, just share of the values or capital 
it has created. We shall, with all our strength, support 
laws made to harmonize the interests of labor and 
capital, for labor alone gives life and value to capital,, 
and also those laws which tend to lighten the cxhaus- 
tiveness of toil. To pause in his toil, to devote himself 
to his own interests, to gather a knowledge of the 
world's commerce, to unite, combine and cooperate 
in the great army of peace and industry, to nourish 
and cherish, build and develop the temple he lives in 
is the highest and noblest duty of man to himself, to 
his fellow men and to his Creator. 

The phenomenal growth and collapse of the 
Knights of Labor is one of the outstanding events 


in American economic history. The membership 
in 1869 consisted of eleven tailors. This small 
beginning grew into the famous Assembly No. 1. 
Soon the ship carpenters wanted to join, and As- 
sembly No. 2 was organized. The shawl-weavers 
formed another assembly, the carpet-weavers an- 
other, and so on, until over twenty assemblies, cov- 
ering almost every trade, had been organized in 
Philadelphia alone. By 1875 there were eighty as- 
semblies in the city and its vicinity. As the num- 
ber of lodges multiplied, it became necessary to 
establish a common agency or authority, and a 
Committee on the Good of the Order was consti- 
tuted to represent all the local units, but this com- 
mittee was soon superseded by a delegate body 
known as the District Assembly. As the move- 
ment spread from city to city and from State to 
State, a General Assembly was created in 1878 
to hold annual conventions and to be the supreme 
authority of the order. In 1883 the membership of 
the order was 52,000; within three years, it had 
mounted to over 700,000; and at the climax of 
its career the society boasted over 1,000,000 work- 
men in the United States and Canada who had 
vowed fealty to its knighthood. 

It is not to be imagined that every member 


of this vast horde so suddenly brought together 
understood the obligations of the workman's chiv- 
alry. The selfish and the lawless rushed in with 
the prudent and sincere. But a resolution of the 
executive board to stop the initiation of new mem- 
bers came too late. The undesirable and radi- 
cal element in many communities gained control of 
local assemblies, and the conservatism and intel- 
ligence of the national leaders became merely a 
shield for the rowdy and the ignorant who brought 
the entire order into popular disfavor. 

The crisis came in 1886. In the early months 
of this turbulent year there were nearly five hun- 
dred labor disputes, most of them Involving an 
advance in wages. An epidemic of strikes then 
spread over the country, many of them actual- 
ly conducted by the Knights of Labor and all of 
them associated in the public mind with that or- 
der. One of the most important of these occurred 
on the Southwestern Railroad. In the preceding 
year, the Knights had increased their lodges in 
St. Louis from five to thirty, and these were un- 
der the domination of a coarse and ruthless dis- 
trict leader. When in February, 1886, a me- 
chanic, working in the shops of the Texas and Pa- 
cific Railroad at Marshall, Texas, was discharged 


for cause and the road refused to reinstate him, 
a strike ensued which spread over the entire six 
thousand miles of the Gould system; and St. Louis 
became the center of the tumult. After nearly 
two months of violence, the outbreak ended in the 
complete collapse of the strikers. This result was 
doubly damaging to the Knights of Labor, for 
they had officially taken charge of the strike and 
were censured on the one hand for their conduct of 
the struggle and on the other for the defeat which 
they had sustained. 

In the same year, against the earnest advice of 
the national leaders of the Knights of Labor, the 
employees of the Third Avenue Railway in New 
York began a strike which lasted many months and 
which was characterized by such violence that po- 
licemen were detailed to guard every car leaving 
the barns. In Chicago the freight handlers struck, 
and some 60,000 workmen stopped work in sym- 
pathy. On the 3d of May, at the McCormick 
Harvester Works, several strikers were wounded 
in a tussle with the police. On the following day 
a mass meeting held in Haymarket Square, Chi- 
cago, was harangued by a number of anarchists. 
When the police attempted to disperse the mob, 
guns were fired at the officers of the law and a bomb 


was hurled into their throng, killing seven and 
wounding sixty. For this crime seven anarchists 
were indicted, found guilty, and sentenced to 
be hanged. The Knights of Labor passed resolu- 
tions asking clemency for these murderers and 
thereby grossly offended public opinion, and that 
at a time when public opinion was frightened by 
these outrages, angered by the disclosures of bra- 
zen plotting, and upset by the sudden conscious- 
ness that the immunity of the United States from 
the red terror of Europe was at an end. 

Powderly and the more conservative national 
officers who were opposed to these radical machin- 
ations were strong enough in the Grand Lodge in 
the following year to suppress a vote of sympathy 
for the condemned anarchists. The radicals there- 
upon seceded from the organization. This out- 
come, however, did not restore the order to the 
confidence of the public, and its strength now rap- 
idly declined. A loss of 300,000 members for the 
year 1888 was reported. Early in the nineties, 
financial troubles compelled the sale of the Phila- 
delphia headquarters of the Knights of Labor and 
the removal to more modest quarters in Washing- 
ton. A remnant of members still retain an organi- 
zation, but it is barely a shadow of the vast army of 


Knights who at one time so hopefully carried on a 
crusade in every center of industry. It was not 
merely the excesses of the lawless but the multi- 
plicity of strikes which alienated public sympa- 
thy. Powderly's repeated warnings that strikes, in 
and of themselves, were destructive of the stable 
position of labor were shown to be prophetic. 

These excesses, however, were forcing upon the 
public the idea that it too had not only an inter- 
est but a right and a duty in labor disputes. Meth- 
ods of arbitration and conciliation were now dis- 
cussed in every legislature. In 1883 the House of 
Representatives established a standing committee 
on labor. In 1884 a national Bureau of Labor 
was created to gather statistical information. In 
1886 President Cleveland sent to Congress a mes- 
sage which has become historic as the first presi- 
dential message devoted to labor. In this he pro- 
posed the creation of a board of labor commis- 
sioners who should act as official arbiters in labor 
disputes, but Congress was unwilling at that 
time to take so advanced a step. In 1888, how- 
ever, it enacted a law providing for the settle- 
ment of railway labor disputes by arbitration, upon 
agreement of both parties. 

Arbitration signifies a judicial attitude of mind, a 


judgment based on facts. These facts are derived 
from specific conditions and do not grow out of 
broad generalizations. Arbitral tribunals are cre- 
ated to decide points in dispute, not philosophies 
of human action. The businesslike organization 
of the new trade union could as readily adapt it- 
self to arbitration as it had already adapted itself, 
in isolated instances, to collective bargaining. A 
new stage had therefore been reached in the labor 


EXPERIENCE and events had now paved the way 
for that vast centralization of industry which char 
acterizes the business world of the present era. 
The terms sugar, coffee, steel, tobacco, oil, acquire 
on the stock exchange a new and precise mean- 
ing. Seventy-five per cent of steel, eighty-three 
per cent of petroleum, ninety per cent of sugar pro- 
duction are brought under the control of indus- 
trial combinations. Nearly one-fourth of the wage- 
earners of America are employed by great cor- 
portionSo But while financiers are talking only 
in terms of millions, while super-organization is 
reaching its eager fingers into every industry, and 
while the units of business are becoming national in 
scope, the workingman himself is being taught at 
last to rely more and more upon group action in 
his endeavor to obtain better wages and working 
conditions. He Is taught also to widen the area of 



his organization and to intensify its efforts. So, 
while the public reads in the daily and periodical 
press about the oil trust and the coffee trust, it 
is also being admonished against a labor trust and 
against two personages, both symbols of colossal 
economic unrest the promoter, or the stalking- 
horse of financial enterprise, and the walking dele- 
gate, or the labor union representative and only 
too frequently the advance agent of bitterness 
and revenge. 

In response to the call of the hour there appeared 
the American Federation of Labor, frequently called 
in these later days the labor trust. The Federa- 
tion was first suggested at Terre Haute, Indiana, 
on August %, 1881, at a convention called by the 
Knights of Industry and the Amalgamated La- 
bor Union, two secret societies patterned after the 
model common at that period. The Amalgamated 
Union was composed largely of disaffected Knights 
of Labor, and the avowed purpose of the Conven- 
tion was to organize a new secret society to sup- 
plant the Knights. But the trades union clement 
predominated and held up the British Trades Un- 
ion and its powerful annual congress as a model. 
At this meeting the needs of intensive local organi- 
zation, of trades autonomy, and of comprehensive 


team work were foreseen, and from the discussion 
there grew a plan for a second convention. With 
this meeting, which was held at Pittsburgh in No- 
vember, 1881, the actual work of the new association 
began under the name, "The Federation of Organ- 
ized Trades and Labor Unions of the United States 
of America and Canada. " 

When this Federation learned that a conven- 
tion representing independent trade unions was 
called to meet in Columbus, Ohio, in December, 
1886, it promptly altered its arrangements for its 
own annual session so that it, too, met at the same 
time and place. Thereupon the Federation effect- 
ed a union with this independent body, which 
represented twenty-five organizations. The new 
organization was called the American Federation 
of Labor. Until 1889, this was considered as the 
first annual meeting of the new organization, but ia 
that year the Federation resolved that its "con- 
tinuity ... be recognized and dated from the 
year 1881." 

For some years the membership increased slowly; 
but in 1889 over 70,000 new members were re- 
ported, in 1900 over 00,000, and from that time 
the Federation has given evidence of such growth 
and prosperity that it easily is the most powerful 


labor organization America has known, and it 
takes its place by the side of the British Trades 
Union Congress as "the sovereign organization in 
the trade union world/' In 1917 its membership 
reached ,371,434, with 110 affiliated national 
unions, representing virtually every element of 
American industry excepting the railway brother- 
hoods and a dissenting group of electrical workers. 

The foundation of this vast organization was the 
interest of particular trades rather than the inter- 
ests of labor in general. Its membership is made 
up "of such Trade and Labor Unions as shall con- 
form to its rules and regulations." The preamble 
of the Constitution states: "We therefore declare 
ourselves in favor of the formation of a thorough 
federation, embracing every trade and labor organ- 
ization in America under the Trade Union System 
of organization/' The Knights of Labor had en- 
deavored to subordinate the parts to the whole; 
the American Federation is willing to bend the 
whole to the needs of the unit. It zealously sends 
out its organizers to form local unions and has 
made provision that s6 any seven wage workers of 
good character following any trade or calling" can 
establish a local union with federal affiliations. 

This vast and potent organization is based upon 


the principle of trade homogeneity namely, that 
each trade Is primarily interested in its own par- 
ticular affairs but that all trades are interested 
in those general matters which affect all laboring 
men as a, class. To combine effectually these dual 
interests, the Federation espouses the principle of 
home rule in purely local matters and of federal 
supervision in all general matters. It combines, 
with a great singleness of purpose, so diverse a 
variety of details that it touches the minutiae of 
every trade and places at the disposal of the hum- 
blest craftsman or laborer the tremendous powers 
of its national influence. While highly centralized in 
organization, it is nevertheless democratic in oper- 
ation, depending generally upon the referendum 
for its sanctions. It is flexible in its parts and 
can mobilize both its heavy artillery and its caval- 
ry with equal readiness. It has from the first been 
managed with skill, energy, and great adroitness. 

The supreme authority of the American Feder- 
ation is its Annual Convention composed of dele- 
gates chosen from national and international un- 
ions, from state, central, and local trade unions, 
and from fraternal organizations. Experience has 
evolved a few simple rules by which the conven- 
tion is safeguarded against political and factional 


debate and against the interruptions of "sore- 
heads." Besides attending to the necessary rou- 
tine, the Convention elects the eleven national 
officers who form the executive council which 
guides the administrative details of the organi- 
zation. The funds of the Federation are derived 
from a per capita tax on the membership. The 
official organ is the American Federationist. It is 
interesting to note in passing that over two hun- 
dred and forty labor periodicals together with a 
continual stream of circulars and pamphlets issue 
from the trades union press. 

The Federation is divided into five departments, 
representing the most important groups of labor: 
the Building Trades, the Metal Trades, Mining, 
Railroad Employees, and the Union Label Trades. * 
Each of these departments has its own autonomous 
sphere of action, its own set of officers, its own 
financial arrangements, its own administrative 
details. Each holds an annual convention, in the 
same place and week, as the Federation. Each is 
made up of affiliated unions only and confines itself 
solely to the interest of its own trades. This sub- 
organization serves as an admirable clearing house 

1 There is in the Federation, however, a group of unions not 
Affiliated with any of these departments. 


and shock-absorber and succeeds in eliminating 
much of the friction which occurs between the 
several unions,. 

There are also forty-three state branches of the 
Federation, each with its own separate organization. 
There are annual state conventions whose member- 
ship, however, is not always restricted to unions 
affiliated with the American Federation. Some of 
these state organizations antedate the Federation. 

There remain the local unions, into personal 
touch with which each member comes. There 
were in 1916 as many as 647 "city centrals/' the 
term used to designate the affiliation of the unions 
of a city. The city centrals are smaller replicas of 
the state federations and are made up of delegates 
elected by the individual unions. They meet at 
stated intervals and freely discuss questions relat- 
ing to the welfare of organized labor in general as 
well as to local labor conditions in every trade. 
Indeed, vigilance seems to be the watchword of 
the Central. Organization, wages, trade agree- 
ments, and the attitude of public officials and city 
councils which even remotely might affect labor 
rarely escape their scrutiny. This oldest of all the 
groups of labor organizations remains the most 
vital part of the Federation. 


The success of the American Federation of Labor 
is due in large measure to the crafty generalship 
of its President, Samuel Gompers, one of the most 
astute labor leaders developed by American econo- 
mic conditions. He helped organize the Feder- 
ation, carefully nursed it through its tender years, 
and boldly and unhesitatingly used its great power 
in the days of its maturity. In fact, in a very real 
sense the Federation is Gompers, and Gompers is 
the Federation. Born in London of Dutch-Jewish 
lineage, on January 27, 1850, the son of a cigar- 
maker, Samuel Gompers was early apprenticed to 
that craft. At the age of thirteen he went to New 
York City, where in the following year he joined 
the first cigar-makers' union organized in that city. 
He enlisted all his boyish ardor in the cause of the 
trade union and, after he arrived at maturity, was 
elected successively secretary and president of his 
union. The local unions were, at that time, gin- 
gerly feeling their way towards state and national 
organization, and in these early attempts young 
Gompers was active. In 1887, he was one of the 
delegates to a national meeting which constituted 
the nucleus of what is now the Cigar-makers' 
International Union. 

The local cigar-makers' union in which Gompers 


received his necessary preliminary training was one 
of the most enlightened and compactly organized 
groups of American labor. It was one of the first 
American Unions to adopt in an efficient manner 
the British system of benefits in the case of sick- 
ness, death, or unemployment. It is one of the few 
American unions that persistently encourages skill 
in its craft and intelligence in its membership. It 
has been a pioneer in collective bargaining and in 
arbitration. It has been conservatively and yet 
enthusiastically led and has generally succeeded 
in enlisting the respect and cooperation of employ- 
ers. This union has been the kindergarten and 
preparatory school of Samuel Gompers, who, dur- 
ing all the years of his wide activities as the head 
of the Federation of Labor, has retained his mem- 
bership in his old local and has acted as first 
vice-president of the Cigar-makers' International. 
These early experiences, precedents, and enthusi- 
asms Gompers carried with him into the Federa- 
tion of Labor. He was one of the original group 
of trade union representatives who organized the 
Federation in 1881. In the following year he was 
its President. Since 1885 he has, with the excep- 
tion of a single year, been annually chosen as 
President. During the first years the Federation 


was very weak, and it was even doubtful if the 
organization could survive the bitter hostility of 
the powerful Knights of Labor. It could pay its 
President no salary and could barely meet his 
expense account. 1 Gompers played a large part 
in the complete reorganization of the Federation 
in 1886. He subsequently received a yearly salary 
of $1000 so that he could devote all of his time to 
the cause. From this year forward the growth of 
the Federation was steady and healthy. In the 
last decade it has been phenomenal. The earlier 
policy of caution has, however, not been discarded 
for caution is the word that most aptly de- 
scribes the methods of Gompers. From the first, he 
tested every step carefully, like a wary mountain- 
eer, before he urged his organization to follow. 
From the beginning Gompers has followed three 
general lines of policy. First, he has built the im- 
posing structure of his Federation upon the au- 
tonomy of the constituent unions. This is the se- 
cret of the united enthusiasm of the Federation. 
It is the Anglo-Saxon instinct for home rule applied 
to trade union politics. In the tentative years of its 
early struggles, the Federation could hope for survi- 
val only upon the suffrance of the trade union, and 

1 In- one of the early years this was $13. 


today, when the Federation has become powerful, 
its potencies rest upon the same foundation. 

Secondly, Gompers has always advocated frugal- 
ity in money matters. His Federation is powerful 
but not rich. Its demands upon the resources of 
the trade unions have always been moderate, and 
the salaries paid have been modest. 1 When the 
Federation erected a new building for its headquar- 
ters in Washington a few years ago, it symbolized 
in its architecture and equipment this modest yet 
adequate and substantial financial policy. Amer- 
ican labor unions have not yet achieved the op- 
ulence, ambitions, and splendors of the guilds of the 
Middle Ages and do not yet direct their activities 
from splendid guild halls. 

In the third place, Gompers has always insisted 
upon the democratic methods of debate and refer- 
endum in reaching important decisions. However 
arbitrary and intolerant his impulses may have 
been, and however dogmatic and narrow his 
conclusions in regard to the relation of labor to 
society and towards the employer (and his Dutch 
inheritance gives him great obstinacy), he has 

1 Before 1899 the annual income of the Federation was less than 
$25,000; in 1901 it reached the $100,000 mark; and since 1903 it has 
exceeded $200,000. 


astutely refrained from too obviously bossing Ms 
own organization. 

With, this sagacity of leadership Gompers has 
combined a fearlessness that sometimes verges on 
brazenness. He has never hesitated to enter a con- 
test when it seemed prudent to him to do so. He 
crossed swords with Theodore Roosevelt on more 
than one occasion and with President Eliot of Har- 
vard in a historic newspaper controversy over trade 
union exclusiveness. He has not been daunted by 
conventions, commissions, courts, congresses, or 
public opinion. During the long term of his Federa- 
tion presidency, which is unparalleled in labor his- 
tory and alone is conclusive evidence of his executive 
skill, scarcely a year has passed without some dra- 
matic incident to cast the searchlight of publicity 
upon him a court decision, a congressional in- 
quiry, a grand jury inquisition, a great strike, a 
nation-wide boycott, a debate with noted public 
men, a political maneuver, or a foreign pilgrimage. 
Whenever a constituent union in the Federation 
has been the object of attack, he has jumped into 
the fray and has rarely emerged humiliated from 
the encounter. This is the more surprising when 
one recalls that he possesses the limitations of the 
zealot and the dogmatism of the partisan. 


One of the most Important functions of Gompers 
lias been that of national lobbyist for the Feder- 
ation. He was one of the earliest champions of 
the eight-hour day and the Saturday half-holiday. 
He has energetically espoused Federal child labor 
legislation, the restriction of immigration, alien 
contract labor laws, and employers' liability laws. 
He advocated the creation of a Federal Depart- 
ment of Labor which has recently developed into a 
cabinet secretariat. His legal bete noire, however, 
was the Sherman Anti-Trust Law as applied to la- 
bor unions. For many years he fought vehement- 
ly for an amending act exempting the laboring class 
from the rigors of that famous statute. Presi- 
dent Roosevelt with characteristic candor told a 
delegation of Federation officials who called on 
him to enlist his sympathy in their attempt, that 
he would enforce the law impartially against law- 
breakers, rich and poor alike. Roosevelt recom- 
mended to Congress the passage of an amendment 
exempting "combinations existing for and engaged 
in the promotion of innocent and proper pur- 
poses." An exempting bill was passed by Con- 
gress but was vetoed by President Taft on the 
ground that it was class legislation. Finally, during 
President Wilson's administration, the Federation 


accomplished Its purpose, first indirectly by a rider 
on an appropriation bill, then directly by the 
Clayton Act, which specifically declared labor 
combinations, instituted for the u purpose of mu- 
tual help and . . . not conducted for profit," not 
to be in restraint of trade. Both measures were 
signed by the President. Encouraged by their 
success, the Federation leaders have moved with 
a renewed energy against the other legal citadel 
of their antagonists, the use of the injunction in 
strike cases. 

Gompers has thus been the political watchman 
of the labor interests. Nothing pertaining, even 
remotely, to labor conditions escapes the vigilance 
of his Washington office. During President Wil- 
son's administration, Gompers's influence achieved 
a power second to none in the political field, ow- 
ing partly to the political power of the labor vote 
which he ingeniously marshalled, partly to the 
natural inclination of the dominant political party, 
and partly to the strategic position of labor in the 
war industries. 

The Great War put an unprecedented strain 
upon the American Federation of Labor. In 
every center of industry laborers of foreign birth 
early showed their racial sympathies, and under 


the stimuli of the Intriguing German and Austrian 
ambassadors sinister plots for crippling munitions 
plants and the shipping industries were hatched 
everywhere. Moreover, workingmen became res- 
tive under the burden of increasing prices, and 
strikes for higher wages occurred almost daily. 

At the beginning of the War, the officers of the 
Federation maintained a calm and neutral atti- 
tude which increased in vigilance as the strain 
upon American patience and credulity increased. 
As soon as the United States declared war, the 
whole energies of the officials of the Federation 
were cast into the national cause. In 1917, under 
the leadership of Gompers, and as a practical anti- 
dote to the I. W. W. and the foreign labor and 
pacifist organization known as The People's Coun- 
cil, there was organized The American Alliance 
for Labor and Democracy in order "to American- 
ize the labor movement/ 5 Its campaign at once 
became nation wide. Enthusiastic meetings were 
held in the great manufacturing centers, stimulated 
to enthusiasm by the incisive eloquence of Gom- 
pers. At the annual convention of the Federa- 
tion held in Buffalo in November,, 1017, full 
endorsement was given to the Alliance by a vote of 
21,602 to 402. In its formal statement the Alliance 


declared: "It is our purpose to try, by educational 
methods, to bring about a more American spirit 
in the labor movement, so that what is now the 
clear expression of the vast majority may become 
the conviction of all. Where we find ignorance, we 
shall educate. Where we find something worse, we 
shall have to deal as the situation demands. But 
we are going to leave no stone unturned to put 
a stop to anti-American activities among work- 
ers/' And in this patriotic effort the Alliance was 

This was the first great step taken by Gompers 
and the Federation. The second was equally im- 
portant. With characteristic energy the organi- 
zation put forward a programme for the readjust- 
ment of labor to war conditions. '"This is labor's 
war" declared the manifesto issued by the Feder- 
ation. " It must be won by labor, and every stage 
in the fighting and the final victory must be made to 
count for humanity." These aims wen* embodied 
in constructive suggestions adopted by the Council 
of National Defense appointed by President Wil- 
son. This programme was in a large measure the 
work of Gompers, who was a member of the Coun- 
cil. The following outline shows the comprehen- 
sive nature of the view which the laborer took of 


the relation between task and the War. The plan 
embraced : 

1. Means for furnishing an adequate supply of 
labor to war industries. 

This included: (a) A system of labor exchanges. 
(b) The training of workers, (c) Agencies for 
determining priorities in labor demands, (d) 
Agencies for the dilution of skilled labor. 

2. Machinery for adjusting disputes between 
capital and labor, without stoppage of work. 

3. Machinery for safeguarding conditions of la- 
bor, including industrial hygiene, safety appliances, 

4. Machinery for safeguarding conditions of 
living, including housing, etc. 

5. Machinery for gathering data necessary for 
effective executive action. 

6. Machinery for developing sound public senti- 
ment and an exchange of information between the 
various departments of labor administration, the 
numerous industrial plants, and the public, so as 
to facilitate the carrying out of a national labor 

Having thus first laid the foundations of a na- 
tional labor policy and having, in the second place, 
developed an effective means of Americanizing, as 


far as possible, the various labor groups, the Fed- 
eration took another step. As a third essential 
element in uniting labor to help to win the war, 
it turned its attention to the inter-allied solidar- 
ity of workingmen. In the late summer and au- 
tumn of 1917, Gompers headed an American labor 
mission to Europe and visited England, Belgium, 
France, and Italy. His frequent public utterances 
in numerous cities received particular attention in 
the leading European newspapers and were eagerly 
read in the allied countries. The pacifist group 
of the British Labour Party did not relish his out- 
spokenness on the necessity of completely defeat- 
ing the Teutons before peace overtures could be 
made. On the other hand, some of the ultracon- 
servative papers misconstrued his sentiments on 
the terms which should be exacted from the enemy 
when victory was assured. This misunderstand- 
ing led to an acrid international newspaper con- 
troversy, to which Gompers finally replied: "I ut- 
tered no sentence or word which by the wildest 
imagination could be interpreted as advocating 
the formula c no annexations, and no indemnities/ 
On the contrary, I have declared, both in the 
United States and in conferences and public meet- 
ings while abroad, that the German forces must be 


driven back from the invaded territory before even 
peace terms could be discussed, that Alsace-Lor- 
raine should be returned to France, that the 'Irre- 
denta* should be returned to Italy, and that the 
imperialistic militarist machine which has so out- 
raged the conscience of the world must be made to 
feel the indignation and righteous wrath of all 
liberty and peace loving peoples." This mission 
had a deep effect in uniting the labor populations of 
the allied countries and especially in cheering the 
over-wrought workers of Britain and France, and 
it succeeded in laying the foundation for a more 
lasting international labor solidarity. 

This considerable achievement was recognized 
when the Peace Conference at Paris formed a Com- 
mission on International Labor Legislation. Gom- 
pers was selected as one of the American represen- 
tatives and was chosen chairman. While the Com- 
mission was busy with its tasks, an international 
labor conference was held at Berne. Gompers and 
his colleagues, however, refused to attend this con- 
ference. They gave as their reasons for this aloof- 
ness the facts that delegates from the Central pow- 
ers, with whom the United States was still at war 5 
were in attendance; that the meeting was held "for 
the purpose of arranging socialist procedure of an 


international character ?? ; and that the convention 
was irregularly called, for it had been announced as 
an inter-allied conferencebuthad been surreptitious- 
ly converted into an international pacifist gather- 
ing, conniving with German and Austrian socialists. 
Probably the most far-reaching achievement of 
Gompers is the by no means inconsiderable con- 
tribution he has made to that portion of the treaty 
of peace with Germany relating to the interna- 
tional organization of labor. This is an entirely 
new departure in the history of labor, for it at- 
tempts to provide international machinery for 
stabilizing conditions of labor in the various sig- 
natory countries. On the ground that "the well- 
being, physical and moral, of the industrial wage- 
earners is of supreme international importance,' 9 
the treaty lays down guiding principles to be fol- 
lowed by the various countries, subject to such 
changes as variations in climate, customs, and 
economic conditions dictate. These principles are 
as follows: labor shall not be regarded merely as a 
commodity or an article of commerce; employers 
and employees shall have the right of forming 
associations; a wage adequate to maintain a rea- 
sonable standard of living shall be paid; an eight- 
hour day shall be adopted; a weekly day of rest 


shall be allowed ; child labor shall be abolished and 
provision shall be made for the education of youth; 
men and women shall receive equal pay for equal 
work; equitable treatment shall be accorded to 
all workers, including aliens resident in foreign 
lands; and an adequate system of inspection shall 
be provided in which women should take part 

While these international adjustments were tak- 
ing place, the American Federation began to antici- 
pate the problems of the inevitable national labor 
readjustment after the war. Through a committee 
appointed for that purpose, it prepared an ample 
programme of reconstruction in which the basic 
features are the greater participation of labor in 
shaping its environment, both in the factory and in 
the community, the development of cooperative 
enterprise, public ownership or regulation of pub- 
lic utilities, strict supervision of corporations, re- 
striction of immigration, and the development of 
public education. The programme ends by de- 
claring that "the trade union movement is unal- 
terably and emphatically opposed ... to a large 
standing army." 

During the entire period of the war, both at 
home and abroad, Gompers fought the pacifist and 
the socialist elements in the labor movement. At 


the same time he was ever vigilant in pushing for- 
ward the claims of trade unionism and was always 
beforehand in constructive suggestions. His life 
has spanned the period of great industrial expan- 
sion in America. He has had the satisfaction of 
seeing his Federation grow under his leadership at 
first into a national and then into an internation- 
al force. Gompers is an orthodox trade unionist of 
the British School. Bolshevism is to him a syn- 
onym for social ruin. He believes that capital 
and labor should cooperate but that capital should 
cease to be the predominant factor in the equation. 
In order to secure this balance he believes la- 
bor must unite and fight, and to this end he has 
devoted himself to the federation of American 
trade unions and to their battle. He has stead- 
fastly refused political preferment and has de- 
clined many alluring offers to enter private busi- 
ness. In action he is an opportunist a shrewd, 
calculating captain, whose knowledge of human 
frailties stands him in good stead, and whose per- 
sonal acquaintance with hundreds of leaders of 
labor, of finance, and of politics, all over the coun- 
try, has given him an unusual opportunity to use 
his influence for the advancement of the cause of 
labor in the turbulent field of economic warfare. 


The American Federation of Labor has been 
forced by the increasing complexity of modern 
industrial life to recede somewhat from its early 
trade union isolation. This broadening point of 
view is shown first in the recognition of the man of 
no trade, the unskilled worker. For years the 
skilled trades monopolized the Federation and 
would not condescend to interest themselves in 
their humble brethren. The whole mechanism of 
the Federation in the earlier period revolved 
around the organization of the skilled laborers. 
In England the great dockers' strike of 1889 and in 
America the lurid flare of the I. W. W. activities 
forced the labor aristocrat to abandon his pharisaic 
attitude and to take an interest in the welfare of 
the unskilled. The future will test the stability 
of the Federation, for it is among the unskilled 
that radical and revolutionary movements find 
their first recruits. 

A further change in the internal policy of the 
Federation is indicated by the present tendency 
towards amalgamating the various allied trades 
into one union. For instance, the United Bro- 
therhood of Carpenters and the Amalgamated 
Wood Workers' Association, composed largely of 
furniture makers and machine wood workers, 


combined a few years ago and then proceeded to 
absorb the Wooden Box Makers, and the Wood 
Workers in the shipbuilding industry. The gen- 
eral secretary of the new amalgamation said that 
the organization looked ''forward with pleasur- 
able anticipations to the day when it can truly be 
said that all men of the wood- working craft on this 
continent hold allegiance to the United Brother- 
hood of Carpenters and Joiners of America." A 
similar unification has taken place in the lumber- 
ing industry. When the shingle weavers formed an 
international union some fifteen years ago, they 
limited the membership "to the men employed in 
skilled departments of the shingle trade." In 1912 
the American Federation of Labor sanctioned a 
plan for including iu one organization all the 
workers in the lumber industry, both skilled and 
unskilled. This is a far cry from the minute trade 
autocracy taught by the orthodox unionist thirty 
years ago. 

Today the Federation of Labor is one of the most 
imposing organizations in the social system of 
America. It reaches the workers in every trade. 
Every contributor to the physical necessities of 
our materialistic civilization has felt the far-reach- 
ing influence of confederated power. A sense of its 


strength, pervades the Federation. Like a healthy, 
self-conscious giant, it stalks apace among our 
national organizations. Through its cautious yet 
pronounced policy, through its seeking after defi- 
nite results and excluding all economic vagaries, it 
bids fair to overcome the disputes that disturb it 
from within and the onslaughts of Socialism and of 
Bolshevism that threaten it from without* 



THE trade union 1 forms the foundation upon which 
the whole edifice of the American Federation of 
Labor is built. Like the Federation, each particu- 
lar trade union has a tripartite structure : there is 
first the national body called the Union, the Inter- 
national, the General Union, or the Grand Lodge; 
there is secondly the district division or council, 
which is merely a convenient general union in min- 
iature; and finally there is the local individual 
union, usually called "the local." Some unions, 
such as the United Mine Workers, have a fourth. 
division or subdistrict, but this is not the general 

The sovereign authority of a trade union is its 
general convention, a delegate body meeting at 
stated times. Some unions meet annually, some 

1 The term " trade union " is used here in its popular, em- 
bracing labor, trade, and industrial unions, unless otherwise specified, 



biennially, some triennially, and a few determine 
by referendum when the convention is to meet. 
Sometimes a long interval elapses: the granite cut- 
ters, for instance, held no convention between 
1880 and 1912, and the cigar-makers, after a con- 
vention in 1896, did not meet for sixteen years. 
The initiative and referendum are, in some of the 
more compact unions, taking the place of the gen- 
eral convention, while the small executive council 
insures promptness of administrative action. 

The convention elects the general officers. Of 
these the president is the most conspicuous, for he 
is the field marshal of the forces and fills a large 
place in the public eye when a great strike is called. 
It was in this capacity that John Mitchell rose to 
sudden eminence during the historic anthracite 
strike in 1902, and George W. Perkins of the cigar- 
makers' union achieved his remarkable hold upon 
the laboring people. As the duties of the president 
of a union have increased, it has become the custom 
to elect numerous vice-presidents to relieve him. 
Each of these has certain specific functions to per- 
form, but all remain the president's aides. One, 
for instance, may be the financier, another the 
strike agent, another the organizer, another the 
agitator. With such a group of virtual specialists 


around a chieftain, a union has the immense ad- 
vantage of centralized command and of highly 
organized leadership. The tendency, especially 
among the more conservative unions, is to reeled 
these officers year after year. The president of 
the Carpenters 5 Union held his office for twenty 
years, and John Mitchell served the miners as 
president ten years. Under the immediate super- 
vision of the president, an executive board com- 
posed of all the officers guides the destinies of the 
union. When this board is not occupied with the 
relations of the men to their employers, it gives its 
judicial consideration to the more delicate and 
more difficult questions of inter-union comity and 
d: local differences. 

The local union is the oldest labor organization, 
and a few existing locals can trace their origin a? 
far back as the decade preceding the Civil War. 
Many more antedate the organization of the Fed- 
eration. Not a few of these almost historic local 
unions have refused to surrender their complete 
independence by affiliating with those of recent 
origin, but they have remained merely isolated in- 
dependent locals with very little general influence. 
The vast majority of local unions are members of 
the national trades union and of the Federation. 


The local union is the place where the laborer 
conies Into direct personal contact with this power- 
ful entity that has become such a factor in his daily 
life. Here he can satisfy that longing for the rec- 
ognition of his point of view denied him in the 
great factory and here he can meet men of similar 
condition, on terms of equality, to discuss freely 
and without fear the topics that interest him most. 
There is an immense psychic potency in this inti- 
mate association of fellow workers, especially in 
some of the older unions which have accumulated 
a tradition. 

It is in the local union that the real life of the 
labor organization must be nourished, and the 
statesmanship of the national leaders is directed to 
maintaining the greatest degree of local autonomy 
consistent with the interests of national homo- 
geneity. The individual laborer thus finds himself 
a member of a group of his fellows with whom he is 
personally acquainted, who elect their own officers, 
to a large measure fix their own dues, transact their 
own routine business, discipline their own mem- 
bers, and whenever possible make their own terms 
of employment with their employers. The local 
unions are obliged to pay their tithe into the great- 
er treasury, to make stated reports, to appoint a 

116 THE OF 

certain roster of committees, and in certain small 
matters to conform to the requirements of the na- 
tional union. On the whole, however, they are 
independent little democracies confederated, with 
others of their kind, by means of district and 
national organizations. 

The unions representing the different trades vary 
in structure and spirit. There is an immense 
difference between the temper of the tumultuous 
structural iron workers and the contemplative 
cigar-makers, who often hire one of their number to 
read to them while engaged in their work, the 
favorite authors being in many instances Ruskin 
and Carlyle. Some unions are more successful than 
others in collective bargaining. Martin Fox, the 
able leader of the iron moulders, signed one of the 
first trade agreements in America and fixed the 
tradition for his union; and the shoemakers, as well 
as most of the older unions are fairly well accus- 
tomed to collective bargaining. In matters of dis- 
cipline, too, the unions vary. Printers and certain 
of the more skilled trades find it easier to enforce 
their regulations than do the longshoremen and 
unions composed of casual foreign laborers. In 
size also the unions of the different trades vary. 
In 1910 three had a membership of over 100,000 


each. Of these the United Mine Workers reached a 
total of 370,800, probably the largest trades union 
in the world. The majority of the unions have a 
membership between 1000 and 10,000, the average 
for the entire number being 5000; but the member- 
ship fluctuates from year to year, according to the 
conditions of labor, and is usually larger in seasons 
of contest. Fluctuation in membership is most 
evident in the newer unions and in the unskilled 
trades. The various unions differ also in resources. 
In some, especially those composed largely of for- 
eigners, the treasury is chronically empty; yet at 
the other extreme the mine workers distributed 
$1,890,000 in strike benefits in 190 and had $750,- 
000 left when the board of arbitration sent the 
workers back into the mines. 

The efforts of the unions to adjust themselves to 
the quickly changing conditions of modern indus- 
try are not always successful. Old trade lines are 
constantly shifting, creating the most perplexing 
problem of inter-union amity. Over two score 
jurisdictional controversies appear for settlement 
at each annual convention of the American Fed- 
eration. The Association of Longshoremen and 
the Seamen's Union, for example, both claim juris- 
diction over employees in marine warehouses. The 


cigar-makers and the stogie-makers Lave also long 
been at swords' points. Who shall have control 
over the coopers who work in breweries the 
Brewery Workers or the Coopers'* Union? Who 
shall adjust the machinery in elevators the Ma- 
chinists or Elevator Constructors? Is the opera- 
tor of a linotype machine a typesetter? So plaster- 
ers and carpenters, blacksmiths and structural iron 
workers, printing pressmen and plate engravers, 
hod carriers and cement workers, are at logger- 
heads; the electrification of a railway creates a 
jurisdictional problem between the electrical rail- 
way employees and the locomotive engineers; and 
the marble workers and the plasterers quarrel as to 
the setting of imitation marble. These quarrels 
regarding the claims of rival unions reveal the 
weakness of the Federation as an arbitral body. 
There is no centralized authority to impose a stand- 
ard or principle which could lead to the settlement 
of such disputes. Trade jealousy has overcome the 
suggestions of the peacemakers that either the 
nature of the tools used, or the nature of the opera- 
tion, or the character of the establishment be taken 
as the basis of settlement. 

When the Federation itself fails as a peacemaker, 
it cannot be expected that locals will escape these 


controversies. There are many examples, often 
ludicrous, of petty jealousies and trade rivalries. 
The man who tried to build a brick house, employ- 
ing union bricklayers to lay the brick and union 
painters to paint the brick walls, found to his loss 
that such painting was considered a bricklayer's 
job by the bricklayers' union, who charged a higher 
wage than the painters would have done. It would 
have relieved him to have the two unions amalga- 
mate. And this in general has become a real way 
out of the difficulty. For instance, a dispute be- 
tween the Steam and Hot Water Fitters and the 
Plumbers was settled by an amalgamation called 
the United Association of Journeymen Plumbers, 
Gas Fitters, Steam Fitters, and Steam Fitters' 
Helpers, which is now affiliated with the Federa- 
tion. But the International Association of Steam, 
Hot Water, and Power Pipe Fitters and Helpers 
is not affiliated, and inter-union war results. The 
older unions, however, have a stabilizing influence 
upon the newer, and a genuine conservatism such 
as characterizes the British unions is becoming 
more apparent as age solidifies custom and lends 
respect to by-laws and constitutions. But even 
time cannot obviate the seismic effects of new in- 
ventions, and shifts in jurisdictional matters are 


always imminent. The dominant policy of the 
trade union is to keep its feet on the earth, no 
matter where its head may be, to take one step at 
a time, and not to trouble about the future of 
society. This purpose, which has from the first 
been the prompter of union activity, was clearly 
enunciated in the testimony of Adolph Strasser, a 
converted socialist, one of the leading trade union- 
ists, and president of the Cigar-makers' Union, 
before a Senate Committee in 1883: 

Chairman : You are seeking to improve home matters 

Witness : Yes sir, I look first to the trade I represent: 

I look first to cigars, to the interests of 

men who employ me to represent their 

Chairman: I was only asking you in regard to your 

ultimate ends. 
Witness: We have no ultimate ends. We are going 

on from day to day. We are fighting only 

for immediate objects objects that can 

be realized in a few years. 
Chairman: You want something better to eat and to 

wear, and better houses io live in? 
Witness: Yes, we want to dress bettor and to live 

better, and become better citizens gener- 

Chairman: I see that you are a little sensitive lest it 

should be thought that you are a more 


iheorizer. I do not look upon you in that 
light at all. 

Witness: Well, we say in our constitution that we 
are opposed to theorists, and I have to 
represent the organization here. We are 
all practical men. 

This remains substantially the trade union plat- 
form today. Trade unionists all aim to be "prac- 
tical men." 

The trade union has been the training school 
for the labor leader, that comparatively new and 
increasingly important personage who is a product 
of modern industrial society. Possessed of natural 
aptitudes, he usually passes by a process of logical 
evolution, through the important committees and 
offices of his local into the wider sphere of the 
national union, where as president or secretary, 
he assumes the leadership of his group. Circum- 
stances and conditions impose a heavy burden 
upon him, and his tasks call for a variety of gifts. 
Because some particular leader lacked tact or a 
sense of justice or some similar quality, many a 
labor maneuver has failed, and many a labor organi- 
zation has suffered in the public esteem. No other 
class relies so much upon wise leadership as does 
the laboring class. The average wage-earner is 

122 THE OF 

without experience in confronting a new situation 
or trained and superior minds. From his tasks he 
has learned only the routine of his craft. When 
he is faced with the necessity of prompt action, 
he is therefore obliged to depend upon his chosen 
captains for results. 

In America these leaders have risen from the 
rank and file of labor. Their education is limited. 
The great majority have only a primary schooling. 
Many have supplemented this meager stock of 
learning by rather wide but desultory reading and 
by keen observation. A few have read law, and 
some have attended night schools. But all have 
graduated from the University of Life. Many of 
them have passed through the bitterest poverty, 
and all have been raised among toilers and from 
infancy have learned to sympathize with the toiler's 
point of view. r They are therefore by training and 
origin distinctly leaders of a class, with the outlook 

: A well-known labor leader once said to the writer: "No 
matter how much you go around among laboring people, you will 
never really understand us unless you were brought up among us. 
There is a real gulf between your way of looking on life and ours. 
You can be only an investigator or an intellectual sympathizer 
with my people. But you cannot really understand our view- 
point." Whatever of misconception there may be in this attitude, 
it nevertheless marks the actual temper of the average wage- 
earner, in spite of the fact that in America many employers have 
risen from the ranks of labor. 


upon life, the prejudices, the limitations, and the 
fervent hopes of that class. 

In a very real sense the American labor leader is 
the counterpart of the American business man 
intensively trained, averse to vagaries, knowing 
thoroughly one thing and only one thing, and 
caring very little for anything else. 

This comparative restriction of outlook marks 
a sharp distinction between American and British 
labor leaders. In Britain such leadership is a dis- 
tinct career for which a young man prepares him- 
self. He is usually fairly well educated, for not 
frequently he started out to study for the law or the 
ministry and was sidetracked by hard necessity. 
A few have come into the field from journalism. 
As a result, the British labor leader has a certain 
veneer of learning and puts on a more impressive 
front than the American. For example, Britain 
has produced Ramsey MacDonald, who writes 
books and makes speeches with a rare grace: John 
Burns, who quotes Shakespeare or recites history 
with wonderful fluency: Keir Hardie, a miner from 
the ranks, who was possessed of a charming poetic 
fancy: Philip Snowden, who displays the spiritual 
qualities of a seer; and John Henderson, who com- 
bines philosophical power with skill in dialectics. 


On tlie other hand, the rank and file of American 
labor is more intelligent and alert than that of 
British labor, and the American labor leader 
possesses a greater capacity for intensive growth 
and is perhaps a better specialist at rough and 
tumble fighting and bargaining than his British 
colleague. I 

In a very real sense every trade union is typi- 
fied by some aggressive personality. The Granite 
Cutters' National Union was brought into active 
being in 1877 largely through the instrumentality 
of James Duncan, a rugged fighter who, having 
federated the locals, set out to establish an eight- 
hour day through collective bargaining and to set- 
tle disputes by arbitration. He succeeded in form- 
ing a well-disciplined force out of the members of 
his craft, and even the employers did not escape the 
touch of his rod. 

The Glassblowers* Union was saved from dis- 
ruption by Dennis Hayes, who, as president of the 
national union, reorganized the entire force in the 
years 1896-99, unionized a dozen of the largest 

1 The writer recalls spending a day in one of the Midland manu 
facturing towns with the secretary of a local cooperative society, 
a man who was steeped in Bergson's philosophy and talked on 
local botany and geology as fluently as on local labor conditions. 
It would be difficult to duplicate this experience in America. 


glass producing plants in the United States and 
succeeded in raising the wages fifteen per cent. 
He Introduced methods of arbitration and col- 
lective agreements and established a successful 
system of insurance. 

James O'Connell, the president of the Inter- 
national Association of Machinists, led his organi- 
zation safely through the panic of 1893, reorganized 
it upon a broader basis, and Introduced sick bene- 
fits,, In 1901 after a long and wearisome dickering 
with the National Metal Trades Association, a 
shorter day was agreed upon, but, as the employers 
would not agree to a ten-hour wage for a nine-hour 
day, O'Connell led his men out on a general strike 
and won. 

Thomas Kidd, secretary of the Wood- Workers 9 
International Union, was largely responsible for the 
agreement made with the manufacturers in 1897 
for the establishment of a minimum wage of fifteen 
cents an hour for a ten-hour day, a considerable 
advance over the average wage paid up to that 
time. Kidd was the object of severe attacks In 
various localities, and in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, 
where labor riots look place for the enforcement of 
the Union demands, lie was arrested for conspiracy 
but acquitted by the trial jury. 


When the Amalgamated Association of Iron and 
Steel Workers lost their strike at Homestead, Penn- 
sylvania, in 1892, the union was thought to be 
dead. It was quietly regalvanized into activity, 
however, by Theodore Schaffer, who has displayed 
adroitness in managing its affairs in the face of 
tremendous opposition from the great steel manu- 
facturers who refuse to permit their shops to be 

The International Typographical Union, com- 
posed of an unusually intelligent body of men, owes 
Its singular success in collective contracting largely 
to James M. Lynch, its national president. The 
great newspapers did not give in to the demands of 
the union without a series of struggles in which 
Lynch manipulated his forces with skill and tact. 
Today this is one of the most powerful unions in 
the country. 

Entirely different was the material out of which 
D. J. Keefe formed his Union of Longshoremen, 
Marine and Transport Workers. His was a mass of 
unskilled workers, composed of many nationalities 
accustomed to rough conditions, and not easily led, 
Keefe, as president of their International Union, 
has had more difficulty in restraining his men and 
in teaching them the obligations of a contract than 


any other leader. At least on one occasion he 
employed non-union men to carry out the agree- 
ment which his recalcitrant following had made 
and broken. 

The evolution of an American labor leader is 
shown at its best in the career of John Mitchell, 
easily the most influential trade unionist of this 
generation. He was born on February 4, 1870, on 
an Illinois farm, but at two years of age he lost his 
mother and at four his father. With other lads of 
his neighborhood he shared the meager privileges 
of the school terms that did not interfere with 
farm work. At thirteen he was in the coal mines in 
Braidwood, Illinois, and at sixteen he was the out- 
er doorkeeper in the local lodge of the Knights of 
Labor. Eager to see the world, he now began a 
period of wandering, working his way from State 
to State. So he traversed the Far West and the 
Southwest, alert in observing social conditions and 
coming in contact with many types of men. These 
wanderings stood him in lieu of an academic course, 
and when he returned to the coal fields of Illinois 
he was ready to settle down. From his Irish par- 
entage he inherited a genial personality and a 
gift of speech. These traits, combined with his 
continual reading on economic and sociological 


subjects, soon lifted him into local leadership. He 
became president of the village school board and of 
the local lodge of the Knights of Labor. He joined 
the United Mine Workers of America upon its or- 
ganization in 1890. He rose rapidly in its ranks, 
was a delegate to the district and sub-district con- 
ventions, secretary-treasurer of the Illinois district, 
chairman of the Illinois legislative committee, 
member of the executive board, and national or- 
ganizer. In January, 1898, he was elected national 
vice-president, and in the following autumn, upon 
the resignation of the president, ho became acting 
president. The national convention in 1899 chose 
him as president, a position which he held for ten 
years. He has served as one of the vice-presidents 
of the American Federation of Labor since 1898, 
was for some years chairman of the Trade Agree- 
ment Department of the National Civic Federation 
and has held the position of Chairman of the New 
York State Industrial Commission. 

When he rose to the leadership of the United 
Mine Workers, this union had only 43,000 mem- 
bers, confined almost exclusively to the bitumi- 
nous regions of the West. I Within the decade of his 

x Less than 10,000 out of 140,000 anthracite miners were members 
of the union. 


presidency he brought virtually all the miners of 
the United States under his leadership. Wherever 
iiis union went, there followed sooner or later the 
eight-hour day, raises in wages of from thirteen to 
twenty-five per cent, periodical joint conventions 
with the operators for settling wage scales and 
other points in dispute, and a spirit of prosperity 
that theretofore was unknown among the miners. 

In unionizing the anthracite miners, Mitchell 
had his historic fight with the group of powerful 
corporations that owned the mines and the rail- 
ways which fed them. This great strike, one of 
the most significant in our history, attracted uni- 
versal attention because of the issues involved, 
because a coal shortage threatened many Eastern 
cities, and because of the direct intervention of 
President Roosevelt. The central figure of this 
gigantic struggle was the miners' young leader, 
barely thirty years old, with the features of a schol- 
ar and the demeanor of an ascetic, marshaling his 
forces with the strategic skill of a veteran general. 

At the beginning of the strike Mitchell, as presi- 
dent of the Union, announced that the miners were 
eager to submit all their grievances to an impartial 
arbitral tribunal and lo abide by its decisions. 
The ruthless and prompt refusal of the mine owners 

130 THE OF 

to consider this proposal reacted powerfully in the 
strikers 3 favor among the public. As the long weeks 
of the struggle wore on ? increasing daily in bitter- 
ness, multiplying the apprehension of the strikers 
and the restiveness of the coal consumers, Mitch- 
ell bore the increasing strain with his customary 
calmness and self-control. 

After the parties had been deadlocked for many 
weeks, President Roosevelt called the mine owners 
and the union leaders to a conference in the White 
House. Of Mitchell's bearing, the President after- 
wards remarked: "There was only one man in the 
room who behaved like a gentleman, and that man 
was not I." 

The Board of Arbitration eventually laid the 
blame on both sides but gave the miners the bulk 
of their demands. The public regarded the victory 
as a Mitchell victory, and the unions adored the 
leader who had won their first strike in a quarter of 
a century, and who had won universal confidence 
by his ability and demeanor in the midst of the 
most harassing tensions of a class war. * 

1 Mitchell was cross-examined for three days when he was tes- 
tifying before the Anthracite Coal Strike Commission. Every 
weapon which craft, prejudice, and skill could marshal against 
him failed to ruffle his temper or to lead him into damaging 
admissions or contradictions. 


John Mitchell's powerful hold upon public opin- 
ion today is not alone due to his superior intelli- 
gence, his self-possession, his business skill, nor his 
Irish gift of human accommodation, but to the 
greater facts that he was always aware of the grave 
responsibilities of leadership, that he realized the 
stern obligation of a business contract, and that he 
always followed the trade union policy of asking 
only for that which was attainable. Soon after the 
Anthracite strike he wrote: 

I am opposed to strikes as I am opposed to war. As 
yet, however, the world with all its progress has not 
made war impossible: neither, I fear, considering the 
nature of men and their institutions, will the strike 
entirely disappear for years to come. . . . 

This strike has taught both capital and labor that 
they owe certain obligations to society and that their 
obligations must be discharged in good faith. If both 
are fair and conciliatory, if both recognize the moral 
restraint of the state of society by which they are sur- 
rounded, there need be few strikes. They can, and it 
is better that they should, settle their differences 
between themselves. . . . 

Since labor organizations are here, and here to stay, 
the managers of employing corporations must choose 
what they are to do with them. They may have the 
union as a present, active, and unrecognized force, 
possessing influence for good or evil, but without 
direct responsibility; or they may deal with it, give it 


responsibility as well as power, define and regulate 
that power, and make the union an auxiliary in the 
promotion of stability and discipline and the amicable 
adjustment of all local disputes* 



THE solidarity and statesmanship of the trade un- 
ions reached perfection in the railway " Brother- 
hoods." Of these the Brotherhood of Locomotive 
Engineers 1 is the oldest and most powerful. It 
grew out of the union of several early associations; 
one of these was the National Protective Associa- 
tion formed after the great Baltimore and Ohio 
strike in 1854; another was the Brotherhood of the 
Footboard, organized in Detroit after the bitter 
strike on the Michigan Central in 1862. Though 
born thus of industrial strife, this railroad union 
has nevertheless developed a poise and a conserv- 
atism which have been its greatest assets in the 

1 Up to this time the Brotherhoods have not affiliated with the 
Knights of Labor nor with the American Federation of Labor. 
After the passage of I lie eight-hour law by Congress in 1016, defi- 
nite steps were taken towards affiliating the Railway Brotherhoods 
with the Federal ion, and at its annual convention in 1919 the 
Federation voted to grant them a charter. 



numerous controversies engaging its energies. No- 
other union has had a more continuous and hard- 
headed leadership, and no other has won more 
universal respect both from the public and from 
the employer. 

This high position is largely due, no doubt, to the 
fact that the Brotherhood of Locomotive Engineers 
is composed of a very select and intelligent class of 
men. Every engineer must first serve an appren- 
ticeship as a fireman, which usually lasts from four 
to twelve years. Very few are advanced to the 
rank of engineer in less than four years. The fire- 
men themselves are selected men who must pass 
several physical examinations and then submit to 
the test of as arduous an apprenticeship as modern 
industrialism affords. In the course of an eight- to 
twelve-hour run firemen must shovel from fifteen 
to twenty-five tons of coal into the blazing fire box 
of a locomotive. In winter they are constantly 
subjected to hot blasts from the furnace and freez- 
ing drafts from the wind. Records show that 
out of every hundred who begin as firemen only 
seventeen become engineers and of these only 
six ever become passenger engineers. The mere 
strain on the eyes caused by looking into the coal 
blaze eliminates 17 per cent. Those who eventually 


become engineers are therefore a select group as far 
as physique is concerned 

The constant dangers accompanying their daily 
work require railroad engineers to be no less de- 
pendable from the moral point of view. The his- 
tory of railroading is as replete with heroism as is 
the story of any war. A coward cannot long sur- 
vive at the throttle. The process of natural selec- 
tion which the daily labor of an engineer involves 
the Brotherhood has supplemented by most rigid 
moral tests. The character of every applicant for 
membership is thoroughly scrutinized and must be 
vouched for by three members. He must demon- 
strate his skill and prove his character by a year's 1 - 
probation before his application is finally voted 
upon. Once within the fold, the rules governing 
his conduct are ipexorable. If he shuns his finan- 
cial obligations or is guilty of a moral lapse, he is 
summarily expelled. In 1909, thirty-six members 
were expelled for " unbecoming conduct. " Drunk- 
ards are particularly dangerous in railroading. 
When the order was only five years old and stil) 
struggling for its life, it nevertheless expelled 172 
members for drunkenness. In proven cases of this 
sort the railway authorities are notified, the offend- 
ing engineer is dismissed from the service, and the 


shame of these culprits is published to the world in 
the Locomotive Engineers' Journal, which reaches 
every member of the order. There is probably no 
other club or professional organization so exact- 
ing in its demands that its members be self-re- 
specting, faithful, law-abiding, and capable; and 
surely no other is so summary and far-reaching 
in its punishments. 

Today ninety per cent of all the locomotive en- 
gineers in the United States and Canada belong to 
this union. But the Brotherhood early learned the 
lesson of exclusion. In 1864 after very annoying 
experiences with firemen and other railway em- 
ployees on the Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne and Chi- 
cago Railroad, it amended its constitution and ex- 
cluded firemen and machinists from the order. 
This exclusive policy, however, is based upon the 
stern requirements of professional excellence and 
is not displayed towards engineers who are not 
members of the Brotherhood. Towards them there 
is displayed the greatest toleration and none of 
the narrow spirit of the "closed shop." The non- 
union engineer is not only tolerated but is even 
on occasion made the benefici ry of the activities 
of the union. He shares, for example, in the rise 
of wages and readjustment of runs. There are 


even cases on record where the railroad unions 
have taken up a specific grievance between a non- 
union man and his employer and have attempted 
a readjustment. 

From the inception of the Brotherhood, the 
policy of the order towards the employing railroad 
company has been one of business and not of senti- 
ment. The Brotherhood has held that the relation 
between the employer and employee concerning 
wages, hours, conditions of labor, and settlement of 
difficulties should be on the basis of a written con- 
tract; that the engineer as an individual was at a 
manifest disadvantage in making such a contract 
with a railway company; that he therefore had a 
right to join with his fellow engineers in pressing 
his demands and therefore had the right to a col- 
lective contract. Though for over a decade the 
railways fought stubbornly against this policy, in 
the end every important railroad of this country 
and Canada gave way. It is doubtful, indeed, if 
any of them would today be willing to go back to 
the old method of individual bargaining, for the 
Brotherhood has insisted upon the inviolability of 
a contract once entered into. It has consistently 
held that **a bargain is a bargain, even if it is a poor 
bargain." Members who violate an agreement 

138 THE OF 

are expelled, and any local lodge which is guilty 
of such an offense has its charter revoked. * 

Once the practice of collective contract was 
fixed, it naturally followed that some mechanism 
for adjusting differences would be devised. The 
Brotherhood and the various roads now maintain 
a general board of adjustment for each railway 
system. The Brotherhood is strict in insisting that 
the action of this board is binding on all its mem- 
bers. This method of bargaining and of settling 
disputes has been so successful that since 1888 the 
Brotherhood has not engaged in an important 
strike. There have been minor disturbances, it is 
true, and several nation-wide threats, but no seri- 
ous strikes inaugurated by the engineers. This 
great achievement of the Brotherhood could not 
have been possible without keen ability in the 
leaders and splendid solidarity among the men. 

The individual is carefully looked after by the 
Brotherhood. The Locomotive Engineers' Mutual 
Life and Accident Insurance Association is an in- 
tegral part of the Brotherhood, though it main- 
tains a separate legal existence in order to comply 

1 In 1905 in New York City 393 members were expelled and 
their charter was revoked for violation of their contract of em- 
ployment by taking part in a sympathetic strike of the subway 
and elevated roads. 


with the statutory requirements of many States. 1 
Every member must carry an insurance policy in 
this Association for not less than $1500, though 
he cannot take more than $4500. The policy is car- 
ried by the order if the engineer becomes sick or 
is otherwise disabled, but if he fails to pay assess- 
ments when he is in full health, he gives grounds 
for expulsion. There is a pension roll of three hun- 
dred disabled engineers, each of whom receives $25 
a month; and the four railroad brotherhoods to- 
gether maintain a Home for Disabled Railroad 
Men at Highland Park, Illinois. 

The technical side of engine driving is empha- 
sized by the Locomotive Engineers' Journal, which 
goes to every member, and in discussions in the 
stated meetings of the Brotherhood. Intellectual 
and social interests are maintained also by lec- 
ture courses, study clubs, and women's auxiliaries. 
Attendance upon the lodge meetings has been 
made compulsory with the intention of insuring 
the order from falling prey to a designing minority 

1 The following figures show the status of the Insurance Asso- 
ciation in 1918. The total amount of life insurance in force was 
$161,205,500.00. The total amount of claims paid from 1868 to 
1918 was $41,085,123.04. The claims paid in 1918 amounted to 
$3,014,540.22. The total amount of indemnity insurance in force 
in 1918 was $12,486,307.50. The total claims paid up to 1918 
were $1,624,537.01; and during 1918, $241,780.08. 


a, condition which has proved the cause of the 
downfall of more than one labor union. 

The Brotherhood of Engineers is virtually a large 
and prosperous business concern. It s management 
has been enterprising and provident; its treasury 
is full; its insurance policies aggregate many mil- 
lions; it owns a modern skyscraper in Cleveland 
which cost $1,250,000 and which yields a substantial 
revenue besides housing the Brotherhood offices. 

The engineers have, indeed, succeeded in form- 
ing a real Brotherhood a u feudal" brotherhood 
an opposing lawyer once called them reestab- 
lishing the medieval guild-paternalism so that each 
member is responsible for every other and all are 
responsible for each. They therefore merge them- 
selves through self-discipline into a powerful uni- 
ty for enforcing their demands and fulfilling their 

The supreme authority of the Brotherhood is the 
Convention, which is composed of delegates from 
the local subdivisions. In the interim between con- 
ventions, the authorized leader of the organization 
is the Grand Chief Engineer, whose decrees tire 
final unless reversed by the Convention. This au- 
thority places a heavy responsibility upon him, 
but the Brotherhood has been singularly fortunate 


in Its choice of chiefs. Since 1873 there have been 
only two. The first of these was P. M. Arthur, a 
sturdy Scot, born in 1831 and brought to America in 
boyhood. He learned the blacksmith and machinist 
trades but soon took to railroading, in which he 
rose rapidly from the humblest place to the position 
of engineer on the New York Central lines. He 
became one of the charter members of the Brother- 
hood in 1863 and was active in its affairs from 
the first. In 1873 the union became involved in a 
bitter dispute with the Pennsylvania Railroad, and 
Arthur, whose prompt and energetic action had 
already designated him as the natural leader of 
the Brotherhood, was elected to the chieftainship. 
For thirty years he maintained his prestige and 
became a national figure in the labor world. He 
died suddenly at Winnipeg in 1003 while speaking 
at the dinner which closed the general convention 
of the Brotherhood. 

When P. M . Arthur joined the engineers' union, 
the condition of locomotive engineers was unsatis- 
factory. Wages were unstable; working conditions 
were hard and, in the freight service, intolerable. 
For the first decade of the existence of the Brother- 
hood, strike after strike took place in the effort to 
establish the righl, of organizing and the principle 


of the collective contract. Arthur became head 
of the order at the beginning of the period of great 
financial depression which followed the first Civil 
War boom and which for six years threatened 
wages in all trades. But Arthur succeeded, by 
shrewd and careful bargaining, in keeping the pay 
of engineers from slipping down and in some in- 
stances he even advanced them. Gradually .strikes 
became more and more infrequent; and the rail- 
ways learned to rely upon his integrity, and the 
engineers to respect his skill as a negotiator. He 
proved to the first that he was not a labor agitator 
and to the others that lie was not a, visionary. 

Year by year, Arthur accumulated prestige and 
power for his union by practical methods and by 
being content with a step at a time. This success, 
however, cost him the enmity of virtually all the 
other trades unionists. To them the men of his 
order were aristocrats, and he was lord over the 
aristocrats. He is said to have "had rare skill in 
formulating reasonable demands, and by consist- 
ently putting moderate demands strongly instead 
of immoderate demands weakly he kepi Hie good 
will of railroad managers, while steadily obtaining 
better terms for his men." In this practice, he 
could not succeed without the solid good will of the 


members of the Brotherhood; and this good will was 
possible only in an order which insisted upon that 
high standard of personal skill and integrity essen- 
tial to a first-class engineer. Arthur possessed a 
genial, fatherly personality. His Scotch shrewdness 
was seen in his own real estate investments, which 
formed the foundation of an independent fortune. 
He lived in an imposing stone mansion in Cleve- 
land; he was a director in a leading bank; and he 
identified himself with the public affairs of the city. 
When Chief Arthur died, the Assistant Grand 
Chief Engineer, A. B. Youngson, who would other- 
wise have assumed the leadership for the unexpired 
term, was mortally ill and recommended the ad- 
visory board to telegraph Warren S. Stone an offer 
of the chieftainship. Thus events brought to the 
fore a man of marked executive talent who had 
hitherto been unknown but who was to play a tre- 
mendous role in later labor politics. Stone was 
little known east of the Mississippi. He had spent 
most of his life on the Rock Island system, had 
visited the East only once, and had attended but 
one meeting of the General Convention. In the 
West, however, he had a wide reputation for sound 
sense, and, as chairman of the general committee 
of adjustment of the Rock Island system, he had 


made a deep impression on his union and his em- 
ployers. Born in Ainsworth, Iowa, in 1800, Stone 
had received a high school education and had be- 
gun his railroading career as fireman on the Rock 
Island when he was nineteen years old. Al twenty- 
four he became an engineer. In this capacity he 
spent the following nineteen years on the Rock 
Island road and then accepted the chieftainship 
of the Brotherhood. 

Stone followed the general policy of his pred- 
ecessor, and brought to his tasks the energy of 
youth and the optimism of the West. When he 
assumed the leadership, the cost of living was rising 
rapidly and he addressed himself to the adjustment 
of wages. He divided the country into three sec- 
tions in which conditions were similar. lie began 
in the Western section, as he was most familiar 
with that field, and asked all the general managers 
of that section to meet the Brotherhood for a wage 
conference. The roads did not accept his invita- 
tion until it wa,s reenforced by the threat of a West- 
ern strike. The conference was a memorable one* 
For nearly three weeks the grand officers of the 
Brotherhood wrangled and wrought with the man- 
agers of the Western roads, who yielded ground 
slowly, a few pennies" increase at a time, until a 


satisfactory wage scale was reached. Similarly the 
Southern section was conquered by the inexorable 
hard sense and perseverance of this new chieftain. 

The dispute with the fifty- two leading roads in 
the so-called Eastern District, east of the Missis- 
sippi and north of the Norfolk and Western Rail- 
road, came to a head in 19H. The engineers de- 
manded that their wages should be " standardized " 
on a basis that one hundred miles or less, or ten 
hours or less, constitute a day's work; that is, the 
inequalities among the different roads should be 
leveled and similar service on the various roads 
be similarly rewarded. They also asked that their 
wages be made equal to the wages on the Western 
roads and presented several minor demands. All 
the roads concerned flatly refused to grant the de- 
mand for a standardized and increased wage, on 
the ground that it would involve an increased ex- 
penditure of $7,000,000 a year. This amount could 
be made up only by increased rates, which the In- 
terstate Commerce Commission must sanction, or 
by decreased dividends, which would bring a rea! 
hardship to thousands of stockholders. 

The unions were fully prepared for a strike which 
would paralyze the essential traffic supplying ap- 
proximately 38,000,000 people. Through the agency 


of Judge Knapp of the United States Commerce 
Court and Dr. Neill of the United States Depart- 
ment of Labor, and under the authority of the Erd- 
man Act, there was appointed aboard of arbitration 
composed of men whose distinction commanded 
national attention. P. H. Morrissey, a former 
chief of the Conductors' and Trainmen's Union, 
was named by the engineers. President Daniel Wil- 
lard of the Baltimore and Ohio Railroad, known for 
his fair treatment of his employees, was chosen by 
the roads. The Chief Justice of the United States 
Supreme Court, the Commissioner of Labor, and 
the presiding judge of the United States Commerce 
Court designated the following members of the 
tribunal: Oscar S. Straus, former Secretary of 
Commerce and Labor, chairman; Albert Shaw, 
editor of the Review of Reviews; Otto M. Eidlitz, 
former president of the Building Trades Associa- 
tion; Charles R. Van Hise, president of the Uni- 
versity of Wisconsin; and Frederick N. Judson, of 
the St. Louis bar. 

After five months of hearing testimony and de- 
liberation, this distinguished board brought in a 
report that marked, it was hoped, a new epoch in 
railway labor disputes, for it recognized the rights 
of the public, the great third party to such disputes. 


It granted the principle of standardization and 
minimum wage asked for by the engineers, but it 
allowed an increase in pay which was less by one- 
half than that demanded. In order to prevent sim- 
ilar discord in the future, the board recommended 
the establishment of Federal and state wage com- 
missions with functions pertaining to wage disputes 
analogous to those of the public service commis- 
sions in regard to rates and capitalization. The 
report stated that, "while the railway employees 
feel that they cannot surrender their right to strike, 
if there were a wage commission which would se- 
cure them just wages the necessity would no longer 
exist for the exercise of their power. It is believed 
that, in the last analysis, the only solution un- 
less we are to rely solely upon the restraining power 
of public opinion is to qualify the principle of free 
contract in the railroad service." 1 
While yielding to the wage findings of the board, 

1 The board recognized the great obstacles in the way of such a 
solution but went on to say: "The suggestion, however, grows 
out of a profound conviction that the food and clothing of our 
people, the industries and the general welfare of our nation, can- 
not be permitted to depend upon the policies and dictates of any 
particular group of men, whether employers or employees." And 
this conviction has grown apace with the years until it stands to- 
day as the most potent check to aggression by either trade unions 
or capital. 


P. H. Morrissey vigorously dissented from the 
principle of the supremacy of public interest in 
these matters. He made clear his position in an 
able minority report: a l wish to emphasize my 
dissent from that recommendation of the board 
which in its effect virtually means compulsory ar- 
bitration for the railroads and their employees. 
Regardless of any probable constitutional prohibi- 
tion which might operate against its being adopted, 
it is wholly impracticable. The progress towards 
the settlement of disputes between llic railways 
and their employees without recourse to industrial 
warfare has been marked. There is nothing under 
present conditions to prevent its continuance. We 
will never be perfect, but even so, it will be im- 
measurably better than it will be under conditions 
such as the board proposes." 

The significance of these words was brought out 
four years later when the united railway brother- 
hoods made their famous coup In Congress. For 
the time being, however, the public with its usual 
self-assurance thought the railway employee ques- 
tion was solved, though the findings were for one 
year only/ 

1 The award dated back to May I, 11>12, and was valid <ml.y oue 
year from that dale. 


Daniel Willard speaking for the railroads, said: 
"My acceptance of the award as a whole does not 
signify my approval of all the findings in detail. It 
is intended, however, to indicate clearly that, al- 
though the award is not such as the railroads had 
hoped for, nor is it such as they felt would be jus- 
tified by a full consideration of all the facts, yet 
having decided to submit this case to arbitra- 
tion and having been given ample opportunity to 
present the facts and arguments in support of 
their position, they now accept without question 
the conclusion which was reached by the board 
appointed to pass upon the matter at issue." 

A comparison of these statements shows how the 
balance of power had shifted, since the days when 
railway policies reigned supreme, from the corpora- 
tion to the union. The change was amply dem- 
onstrated by the next grand entrance of the rail- 
way brotherhoods upon the public stage. After 
his victory in the Western territory, Chief Stone 
remarked: "Most labor troubles are the result of 
one of two things, misrepresentation or misunder- 
standing. Unfortunately, negotiations are some- 
times entrusted to men who were never intended 
by nature for this mission, since they cannot dis- 
cuss a question without losing their temper. . . . 

150 THE OF 

It may be laid down as a fundamental principle 
without which no labor organization can hope to 
exist, that it must carry out its contracts. No em- 
ployer can be expected to live up to a contract that 
is not regarded binding by the union." 

The other railway brotherhoods to a consider- 
able degree follow the model set by the engineers. 
The Order of Railway Conductors developed rap- 
idly from the Conductors' Union which was or- 
ganized by the conductors of the Illinois Central 
Railroad at Amboy, Illinois, in the spring of 1868. 
In the following July this union was extended to 
include all the lines in the State. In November of 
the same year a call to conductors on all the roads 
in the United States and the British Provinces was 
issued to meet at Columbus., Ohio, in December, to 
organize a general brotherhood. Ten years later 
the union adopted its present name. It has an 
ample insurance fund 1 based upon the principle 
that policies are not matured but members arriving 
at the age of seventy years are relieved from further 
payments. About thirty members are thus annu- 
ally retired. At Cedar Rapids, Iowa, the national 
headquarters, the order publishes The Railway 

1 In 1910 the total amount of outstanding iiusunince was some- 
what over $90,000,000. 


Conductor., a journal which aims not only at the 
solidarity of the membership but at increasing their 
practical efficiency. 

The conductors are a conservative and carefully 
selected group of men. Each must pass through a 
long term of apprenticeship and must possess abil- 
ity and personality. The order has been carefully 
and skillfully led and in recent years has had but 
few differences with the railways which have not 
been amicably settled. Edgar E. Clark was chosen 
president in 1890 and served until 1906, when he 
became a member of the Interstate Commerce 
Commission. He was born in 1856, received a 
public school education, and studied for some time 
in an academy at Lima, New York. At the age of 
seventeen, he began railroading and served as con- 
ductor on the Northern Pacific and other Western 
lines. He held numerous subordinate positions in 
the Brotherhood and in 1889 became its vice-presi- 
dent. He was appointed by President Roosevelt 
as a member of the Anthracite Coal Strike Com- 
mission in 1902 and is generally recognized as one 
of the most judicial heads in the labor world. He 
was succeeded as president of the order by Austin B. 
Garretson, who was bom in Win Lerset, Iowa, in 1856. 
He began his railroad career at nineteen years of 


age, became a conductor on the Burlington system, 
and had a varied experience on several Western 
lines, including the Mexican National and Mexican 
Central railways. His rise in the order was rapid 
and in 1889 he became vice-president. One of his 
intimate friends wrote that ""in his capacity as 
Vice-President and President of the Order he has 
written more schedules and successfully negotiated 
more wage settlements, including the eight-hour 
day settlement in 1916, under the method of col- 
lective bargaining than any other labor leader on 
the American continent.' 5 

Garretson has long served as a member of the 
executive committee of the National Civic Federa- 
tion and in 1912 was appointed by President Wil- 
son a member of the Federal Commission on Indus- 
trial Relations. A man of great energy and force 
of character, he has recently assumed a leading 
place in labor union activities. 

In addition to the locomotive engineers and the 
conductors, the firemen also have their union. 
Eleven firemen of the Erie Railroad organized a 
brotherhood at Port Jcrvis, New York, in Decem- 
ber, 1873, but it was a fraternal order rather than 
a trade union. In 1877, [he year of the grtNil rail- 
way strikes, it was joined by the International 


Firemen's Union, an organization without any fra- 
ternal or insurance features. In spite of this amal- 
gamation, however, the growth of the Brother- 
hood was very slow. Indeed, so unsatisfactory 
was the condition of affairs that in 1879 the order 
took an unusual step. "So bitter was the contin- 
ued opposition of railroad officials at this time," 
relates the chronicler of the Brotherhood (in some 
sections of the country it resulted in the disband- 
ment of the lodges and the depletion of member- 
ship) "that it was decided, in order to remove the 
cause of such opposition, to eliminate the protec- 
tive feature of the organization. With a view to 
this end a resolution was adopted ignoring strikes." 
This is one of the few recorded retreats of militant 
trade unionism. The treasury of the Brotherhood 
was so depleted that it was obliged to call upon 
local lodges for donations. By 1885, however, the 
order had sufficiently recovered to assume again 
the functions of a labor union in addition to its 
fraternal and beneficiary obligations. The days 
of its greatest hardships were over, although the 
historic strike on the Burlington lines that lasted 
virtually throughout the year 1888 and the Pull- 
man strike in 1894 wrought a severe strain upon 
its slaying powers. In 1906 the engineinen were 

154 THE OF 

incorporated Into the order, and thenceforth the 
membership grew rapidly. In 1913 a joint agree- 
ment was effected with the Brotherhood of Loco- 
motive Engineers whereby the two organizations 
could work together "on a labor union basis.' 9 
Today men operating electric engines or motor or 
gas cars on lines using electricity are eligible for 
membership, if they are otherwise qualified. This 
arrangement does not interfere with unions already 
established on interurban lines. 

The leadership of this order of firemen has been 
less continuous, though scarcely less conspicuous, 
than that of the other brotherhoods. Before 1886 
the Grand Secretary and Treasurer was invested 
with greater authority than the grand master, 
and in this position Eugene V. Debs, who served 
from 1881 to 1892, and Frank W. Arnold, who 
served from 1893 to 1903, were potent in shaping 
the policies of the Union. There have been seven 
grand masters and one president (the name now 
used to designate the chief officer) since 1874. Of 
these leaders Frank P. Sargent served from 1886 
until 1892, when he was appointed Commissioner 
General of Immigration by President Roosevelt* 
Since 1909, William S. Carter has been president 
of the Brotherhood. Born in Texas in 1859, he 


began railroading at nineteen years of age and 
served in turn as fireman, baggageman, and en- 
gineer. Before his election to the editorship of the 
Firemen s Magazine, he held various minor offices 
in local lodges. Since 1894 he has served the 
order successively as editor, grand secretary and 
treasurer, and president. To his position he has 
brought an intimate knowledge of the affairs of the 
Union as well as a varied experience in practical 
railroading. Upon the entrance of America into 
the Great War, President Wilson appointed him 
Director of the Division of Labor of the United 
States Railway Administration. 

Of the government and policy of the firemen's 
union President Carter remarked: 

This Brotherhood may be compared to a state in a re- 
public of railway unions, maintaining almost complete 
autonomy in its own affairs yet uniting with other rail- 
way brotherhoods in matters of mutual concern and in 
common defense. It is true that these railway brother- 
hoods carry the principle of home rule to great lengths 
and have acknowledged no common head, and by this 
have invited the criticism from those who believe . . . 
that only in one "big" union can railway employees 
hope for improved working condition. . . . That in 
union there is strength, no one will deny, but in any 
confederation of forces there must be an exchange 
of individual rights for this collective power. There is 


a point in the combining of working people in la- 
bor unions where the loss of individual rights is not 
compensated by the increased power of the masses 
of workers. 

In the cautious working out of this principle, the 
firemen have prospered after the manner of their 
colleagues in the other brotherhoods. Their mem- 
bership embraces the large majority of their craft. 
Prom the date of the establishment of their bene- 
ficiary fund to 1918 a total of $21,860,103.00 has 
been paid in death and disability claims and in 1 918 
the amount so paid was $1,538,207.00. The Fire- 
men's Magazine, established in 1870 and now pub- 
lished from headquarters in Cleveland, is indicative 
of the ambitions of the membership, for its avowed 
aim is to "make a specialty of educational matter 
for locomotive enginemen and other railroad em- 
ployees." An attempt was even made in 1908 to 
conduct a correspondence school, under the super- 
vision of the editor and manager of the magazine, 
but after three years this project was discontinued 
because it could not be made self-supporting. 

The youngest of the railway labor organizations 
is the Brotherhood of Trainmen, organized in 
September, 1 883, at Oneonta, New York. Its early 
years were lean and filled with bickerings and 


doubts, and it was not until S. E. Wilkinson was 
elected grand master in 1885 that it assumed an 
important role in labor organizations. Wilkinson 
was one of those big, rough and ready men, with a 
natural aptitude for leadership, who occasionally 
emerge from the mass. He preferred railroading 
to schooling and spent more time in the train sheds 
of his native town of Monroeville, Ohio, than he 
did at school. At twelve years of age he ran away 
to join the Union Army, in which he served as an 
orderly until the end of the war. He then followed 
his natural bent, became a switchman and later a 
brakeman, was a charter member of the Brother- 
hood, and, when its outlook was least encourag- 
ing, became its Grand Master. At once under his 
leadership the organization became aggressive. 

The conditions under which trainmen worked 
were far from satisfactory. At that time, in the 
Eastern field, the pay of a brakeman was between 
$1.50 and $2 a day in the freight service, $45 a 
month in the passenger service, and $50 a month 
for yard service. In the Southern territory, the 
wages were very much lower and in the Western 
about $5 per month higher. The runs in the differ- 
ent sections of the country were not equalized: 
there was no limit to the number of hours called a 


day's work; overtime and preparatory time were 
not counted in; and there were many complaints 
of arbitrary treatment of trainmen by their supe- 
riors. Wilkinson set to work to remedy the wage 
situation first. Almost at once he brought about 
the adoption of the principle of collective bargain- 
ing for trainmen and yardmen. By 1895, when he 
relinquished his office, the majority of the rail- 
ways in the United States and Canada had work- 
ing agreements with their train and yard service 
men. Wages had been raised, twelve hours or less 
and one hundred miles or less became recognized 
as a daily measure of service, and overtime was 
paid extra. 

The panic of 1893 hit the railway service very 
hard. There followed many strikes engineered by 
the American Railway Union, a radical organiza- 
tion which carried its ideas of violence so far that it 
wrecked not only itself but brought the newer and 
conservative Brotherhoods to the verge of ruin. 
It was during this period of strain that, in 1895, 
P. H. Morrissey was chosen Grand Master of the 
Trainmen. With a varied training in railroading, 
in insurance, and in labor organization work, Mor- 
rissey was in many ways the antithesis of his pred- 
ecessors who had, in a powerful and brusque way, 


prepared the ground for his analytical and judi- 
cial leadership. He was unusually well informed 
on all matters pertaining to railroad operations, 
earnings, and conditions of employment, and on 
general economic conditions. This knowledge, 
together with his foreefulness, tact, parliamen- 
tary ability, and rare good judgment, soon made 
him the spokesman of all the railway Brother- 
hoods in their joint conferences and their leader 
before the public. He was not afraid to take 
the unpopular side of a cause, cared nothing for 
mere temporary advantages, and had the gift of 
inspiring confidence. 

When Morrissey assumed the leadership of the 
Trainmen, their order had lost 10,000 members in 
two years and was about $200,000 in debt. The 
panic had produced unemployment and distrust, 
and the violent reprisals of the American Railway 
Union had reaped a harvest of bitterness and dis- 
loyalty. During his fifteen years of service until 
he retired in 1909, Morrissey saw his order re- 
juvenated and virtually reconstructed, the work of 
the men standardized in the greater part of the 
country, slight increases of pay given to the freight 
and passenger men, and very substantial increases 
granted to the yard men. But his greatest service 


to his order was in thoroughly establishing it in 
the public confidence. 

He was succeeded by William G. Lee, who had 
served in many subordinate offices in local lodges 
before he had been chosen First Vice- Grand Mas- 
ter in 1895. For fifteen years he was a faithful 
understudy to Morrissey whose policy he has con- 
tinued in a characteristically fearless and thor- 
oughgoing manner. When he assumed the presi- 
dency of the order, he obtained a ten-hour day in 
the Eastern territory for all train and yard men, 
together with a slight increase in pay for all classes 
fixed on the ten-hour basis. The ten-hour day was 
now adopted in Western territory where it had not 
already been put into effect. The Southern terri- 
tory, however, held out until 1912, when a general 
advance on all Southern railroads, with one excep- 
tion, brought the freight and passenger men to a 
somewhat higher level of wages than existed in 
other parts of the country. In the following year 
the East and the West raised their wages so that 
finally a fairly level rate prevailed throughout the 
United States. In the movement for the eight- 
hour day which culminated in the passage of the 
Adamson Law by Congress, Lee and his order took 
a prominent part. In 1919 the Trainmen had 


$253,000,000 insurance in force, and up to that year 
had paid out $42,500,000 in claims. Of this latter 
amount $3,604,000 was paid out in 1918, one-half 
of which was attributed to the influenza epidemic. 

Much of the success and power of the railroad 
Brotherhoods is due to the character of their mem- 
bers as well as to able leadership. The editor of 
a leading newspaper has recently written: u The 
impelling power behind every one of these or- 
ganizations is the membership. I say this without 
detracting from the executive or administrative 
abilities of the men who have been at the head of 
these organizations, for their influence has been 
most potent in carrying out the will of their several 
organizations. But whatever is done is first de- 
cided upon by the men and it is then put up to their 
chief executive officers for their direction/' 

With a membership of 375,000 uniformly clean 
and competent, so well captained and so well for- 
tified financially by insurance, benefit, and other 
funds, it is little wonder that the Brotherhoods 
have reached a permanent place in the railroad 
industry. Their progressive power can be dis- 
cerned in Federal legislation pertaining to arbitra- 
tion and labor conditions in interstate carriers. 
In 1888 an sicl was passed providing that, in cases 


of railway labor disputes, the President might 
appoint two investigators who, with the United 
States Commission of Labor, should form a board 
to investigate the controversy and recommend 
"the best means for adjusting it." But as they 
were empowered to produce only findings and not 
to render decisions, the law remained a dead letter, 
without having a single case brought up under it. 
It was superseded in 1898 by the Erdman Act, 
which provided that certain Federal officials should 
act as mediators and that, in case they failed, a 
Board of Arbitrators was to be appointed whose 
word should be binding for a certain period of time 
and from whose decisions appeal could be taken to 
the Federal courts. Of the hundreds of disputes 
which occurred during the first eight years of the 
existence of this statute, only one was brought 
under the mechanism of the law. Federal arbitra- 
tion was not popular. In 1905, however, a rather 
sudden change came over the situation. Over 
sixty cases were brought under the Erdman Act 
in about eight years. In 1913 the Newlands Law 
was passed providing for a permanent Board of 
Mediation and Conciliation, by which over sixty 
controversies have been adjusted. 
The increase of brotherhood influence which 


such legislation represents was accompanied by a 
consolidation in power. At first the Brotherhoods 
operated by railway systems or as individual orders. 
Later on they united into districts, all the Brother- 
hoods of a given district cooperating in their de- 
mands. Finally the cooperation of all the Brother- 
hoods in the United States on all the railway sys- 
tems was effected. This larger organization came 
clearly to light in 1912, when the Brotherhoods 
submitted their disputes to the board of arbitra- 
tion. This step was hailed by the public as going a 
long way towards the settlement of labor disputes 
by arbitral boards. 

The latest victory of the Brotherhoods, however, 
has shaken public confidence and has ushered in 
a new era of brotherhood influence and Federal in- 
terference in railroad matters. In 1916, the four 
Brotherhoods threatened to strike. The mode of 
reckoning pay whether upon an eight-hour or a 
longer day was the subject of contention. The 
Department of Labor, through the Federal Con- 
ciliation Board, tried in vain to bring the oppo- 
nents together. Even President Wilson's efforts to 
bring about an agreement proved futile. The 
roads agreed to arbitrate all the points, allowing 
the President to name the arbitrators; but the 


Brotherhoods, probably realizing their temporary 
strategic advantage, refused point-blank to arbi- 
trate. When the President tried to persuade the 
roads to yield the eight-hour day, they replied that 
it was a proper subject for arbitration. 

Instead of standing firmly on the principle of 
arbitration, the President chose to go before Con- 
gress, on the afternoon of the 29th of August, and 
ask, first, for a reorganization of the Interstate 
Commerce Commission; second, for legal recogni- 
tion of the eight-hour day for interstate carriers; 
third, for power to appoint a commission to ob- 
serve the operation of the eight-hour day for a 
stated time; fourth, for reopening the question of 
an increase in freight rates to meet the enlarged 
cost of operation; fifth, for a law declaring railway 
strikes and lockouts unlawful until a public inves- 
tigation could be made; sixth, for authorization to 
operate the roads in case of military necessity. 

The strike was planned to fall on the expect- 
ant populace, scurrying home from Lheir vacations, 
on the 4th of September. On the 1st of September 
an eight-hour bill, providing also for the appoint- 
ment of a board of observation, was rushed through 
the House; on the following day it was hastened 
through the staid Senate; and on the third it 


received the President's signature. 1 The other 
recommendations of the President were to 
await the pleasure of Congress and the unions. To 
the suggestion that railway strikes be made unlaw- 
ful until their causes are disclosed the Brotherhoods 
were absolutely opposed. 

Many readjustments were involved in launch- 
ing the eight-hour law, and in March, 1917, the 
Brotherhoods again threatened to strike. The 
President sent a committee, including the Secre- 
tary of the Interior and the Secretary of Labor, to 
urge the parties to come to an agreement. On the 
19th of March, the Supreme Court upheld the 
validity of the law, and the trouble subsided. But 
in the following November, after the declaration 
of war, clouds reappeared on the horizon, and 
again the unions refused the Government's sugges- 
tion of arbitration. Under war pressure, however, 
the Brotherhoods finally consented to hold their 
grievance in abeyance. 

The haste with which the eight-hour law was 
enacted, and the omission of the vital balance sug- 
gested by the President appeared to many citizens 

1 This was on Sunday. In order to obviate any objection as to 
the legality of the signature the President signed the bill again on 
the following Tuesday, the intervening Monday being Labor Day. 

166 THE OP 

to be a holdup of Congress, and the nearness of 
the presidential election suggested that a political 
motive was not absent. The fact that in the en- 
suing presidential election, Ohio, the home of the 
Brotherhoods, swung from the Republican to the 
Democratic column, did not dispel this suspicion 
from, the public mind. Throughout this maneuver 
it was apparent that the unions were very con- 
fident, but whether because of a prearranged pact, 
or because of a full treasury, or because of a feeling 
that the public was with them, or because of the 
opposite belief that the public feared them, must 
be left to individual conjecture. None the less, the 
public realized that the principle of arbitration had 
given way to the principle of coercion. 

Soon after the United States had entered the 
Great War, the Government, under authority of 
an act of Congress, took over the management of 
all the interstate railroads, and the nation was 
launched upon a vast experiment destined to test 
the capacities of all the parties concerned. The dis- 
pute over wages that had been temporarily quieted 
by the Adamson Law broke out afresh until settled 
by the famous Order No. 27, issued by William 
G. McAdoo, the Director General of Railroads, 
and providing a substantial readjustment of wages 


and hours. In the spring of 1919 another large 
wage increase was granted to the men by Director 
General Hines, who succeeded McAdoo. Mean- 
while the Brotherhoods, through their counsel, 
laid before the congressional committee a plan for 
the government ownership and joint operation of 
the roads, known as the Plumb plan, and the Amer- 
ican people are now face to face with an issue which 
will bring to a head the paramount question of the 
relation of employees on government works to the 
Government and to the general public* 



THERE lias been an enormous expansion In the de- 
mands of the unions since the early days of the 
Philadelphia cordwainers; yet these demands in- 
volve the same fundamental issues regarding hours, 
Wages, and the closed shop. Most unions, when 
all persiflage is set aside, are primarily organized 
for business the business of looking after their 
own interests. Their treasury is a war chest rather 
than an insurance fund. As a benevolent organi- 
zation, the American union is far behind the British 
union with its highly developed Friendly Societies. 
The establishment of a standard rate of wages is 
perhaps, as the United States Industrial Commis- 
sion reported in 1901, "the primary object of trade 
union policy." The most promising method of 
adjusting the wage contract is by the collective 
trade agreement. The mechanism of the union 
has made possible collective bargaining, and in 


numerous trades wages and other conditions are 
now adjusted by this method. One of the earliest 
of these agreements was effected by the Iron Hold- 
ers' Union in 1891 and has been annually renewed. 
The coal operatives, too, for a number of years 
have signed a wage agreement with their miners, 
and the many local difficulties and differences have 
been ingeniously and successfully met. The great 
railroads have, likewise, for many years made pe- 
riodical contracts with the railway Brotherhoods. 
The glove-makers, cigar-makers, and, in many 
localities, workers in the building trades and on 
street-railway systems have the advantage of simi- 
lar collective agreements. In 1900 the American 
Newspaper Publishers Association and the Inter- 
national Typographical Union, after many years 
of stubborn fighting merged their numerous differ- 
ences in a trade contract to be in effect for one year. 
This experiment proved so successful that the 
agreement has since then been renewed for five- 
year periods. In 1915 a bitter strike of the gar- 
ment makers in New York City was ended by a 
"protocol." The principle of collective agreement 
has become so prevalent that the Massachusetts 
Bureau of Labor believes that it "is being ac- 
cepted with increasing favor by both employers 

170 THE OF 

and employees, ? ' and John Mitchell, speaking from 
wide experience and an intimate knowledge of con- 
ditions, says that "the hope of future peace in 
the industrial world lies in the trade agreement. " 
These agreements are growing in complexity, and 
today they embrace not only questions of wages 
and hours but also methods for adjusting all the 
differences which may arise between the parties to 
the bargain. 

The very success of collective bargaining hinges 
upon the solidarity and integrity of the union which 
makes the bargain. A union capable of enforcing 
an agreement is a necessary antecedent condition 
to such a contract. With this fact in mind, one 
can believe that John Mitchell was not unduly 
sanguine in stating that "the tendency is toward 
the growth of compulsory membership . . . and 
the time will doubtless come when this compulsion 
will be as general and will be considered as little of 
a grievance as the compulsory attendance of chil- 
dren at school." There are certain industries so 
well centralized, however, that their coercive power 
is greater than that of the labor union, and these 
have maintained a consistent hostility to the closed 
shop. The question of the closed shop is, indeed, 
the most stubborn issue confronting the union. 


The principle involves the employment of only 
union men in a shop; it means a monopoly of jobs 
by members of the union. The issue is as old as the 
unions themselves and as perplexing as human 
nature. As early as 1806 it was contended for by 
the Philadelphia cordwainers and by 1850 it had 
become an established union policy. While wages 
and hours are now, in the greater industrial fields, 
the subject of a collective contract, this question 
of union monopoly is still open, though there has 
been some progress towards an adjustment. Wher- 
ever the trade agreement provides for a closed 
shop, the union, through its proper committees and 
officers, assumes at least part of the responsibility 
of the discipline. The agreement also includes 
methods for arbitrating differences. The acid test 
of the union is its capacity to live up to this 
trade agreement. 

For the purpose of forcing its policies upon its 
employers and society the unions have resorted to 
the strike and picketing, the boycott, and the union 
label. When violence occurs, it usually is the con- 
comitant of a strike; but violence unaccompanied 
by a strike is sometimes used as a union weapon. 

The strike is the oldest and most spectacular 
weapon in the hands of labor. For many years it 


was thought a necessary concomitant of machine 
industry. The strike, however, antedates machin- 
ery and was a practical method of protest long 
before there were unions. Men in a shop simply 
agreed not to work further and walked out. The 
earliest strike in the United States, as disclosed by 
the United States Department of Labor occurred 
in 1741 among the journeymen bakers in New York 
City. In 1792 the cordwainers of Philadelphia 
struck. By 1834 strikes were so prevalent that the 
New York Daily Advertiser declared them to be 
"all the fashion." These demonstrations were all 
small affairs compared with the strikes that dis- 
organized industry after the Civil War or those 
that swept the country in successive waves in the 
late seventies, the eighties, and the nineties. The 
United States Bureau of Labor has tabulated the 
strike statistics for the twenty-five year period 
from 1881 to 1 905. This list discloses the fact that 
38,303 strikes and lockouts occurred, involving 
199,954 establishments and 7,444,279 employees. 
About 2,000,000 other employees were thrown out 
of work as an indirect result. In 1894, the year of 
the great Pullman strike, 610,425 men wore out of 
work at one time ; and 659,792 iu 1902. How much 
time and money these ten million wage-earners 


lost, and their employers lost, and society lost, can 
never be computed, nor how much nervous energy 
was wasted, good will thrown to the winds, and 
mutual suspicion created. 

The increase of union influence is apparent, for 
recognition of the union has become more fre- 
quently a cause for strikes. T Moreover, while the 
unions were responsible for about 47 per cent of the 
strikes in 1881, they had originated, directly or 
indirectly, 75 per cent in 1905. More significant, 
indeed, is the fact that striking is a growing habit, 
In 1903, for instance, there were 3494 strikes, an 
average of about ten a day. 

Preparedness is the watchword of the Unions in 
this warfare. They have generals and captains, a 
war chest and relief committees, as well as publici- 
ty agents and sympathy scouts whose duty it is 
to enlist the interest of the public. Usually the 
leaders of the unions are conservative and deprecate 

1 The cause of the strikes tabulated by the Bureau of Labor? 
shown iii the following table of percentages: 

1881 1891 1901 1905 

For increase of wages: Cl 27 9 32 

Against reduction of wages: 10 II 4 5 

For reduction in hours: 3575 

Recognition of Union: (5 14 8 31 

174 THE OF 

violence. But a strike by its very nature offers 
an opportunity to the lawless. The destruction of 
property and the coercion of workmen have been 
so prevalent in the past that, in the public mind, 
violence has become universally associated with 
strikes. Judge Jenkins, of the United States Circuit 
Court, declared, in a leading case, that a a strike 
without violence would equal the representation of 
Hamlet with the part of Hamlet omitted. " Justice 
Brewer of the United States Supreme Court said 
that "the common rule as to strikes" is not only 
for the workers to quit but to "forcibly prevent 
others from taking their place." Historic examples 
involving violence of this sort are the great railway 
strikes of 1877, when Pittsburgh, Reading, Cincin- 
nati, Chicago, and Buffalo were mob-ridden; the 
strike of the steel-workers at Homestead, Pennsyl- 
vania, in 189; the Pullman strike of 1894, when 
President Cleveland sent Federal troops to Chicago ; 
the great anthracite strike of 1902, which the Fed- 
eral Commission characterized as "stained with 
a record of riot and bloodshed "; the civil war in the 
Colorado and Idaho mining regions, where the West- 
ern Federation of Miners battled with the militia 
and Federal troops; the dynamite outrages, per- 
petrated by the structural iron workers, stretching 


across the entire country, and reaching a das- 
tardly climax in the dynamiting of the Los Angeles 
Times building on October 1, 1910, in which some 
twenty men were killed. The recoil from this out- 
rage was the severest blow which organized labor 
has received in America. John J. McNamara, 
Secretary of the Structural Iron Workers' Associa- 
tion, and his brother James were indicted for mur- 
der. After the trial was staged aad the eyes of the 
nation were upon it, the public was shocked and 
the hopes of labor unionists were shattered by the 
confessions of the principals. In March, 1912, a 
Federal Grand Jury at Indianapolis returned fifty- 
four indictments against officers and members of 
the same union for participation in dynamite out- 
rages that had occurred during the six years in 
many parts of the country, with a toll of over one 
hundred lives and the destruction of property 
valued at many millions of dollars. Among those 
indicted was the president of the International 
Association of Bridge and Structural Iron Workers. 
Most of the defendants were sentenced to various 
terms in the penitentiary. 

The records of this industrial warfare are re- 
plete with lesser battles where thuggery joined 
hands with desperation in the struggle for wages. 


Evidence is not wanting that local leaders have 
frequently incited their men to commit acts of vio- 
lence in order to impress the public with their 
earnestness. It is not an inviting picture, this 
matching of the sullen violence of the mob against 
the sullen vigilance of the corporation. Yet such 
methods have not always been used., for the union 
has done much to systematize this guerrilla war- 
fare. It has matched the ingenuity and the resolu- 
tion of the employer, backed by his detectives and 
professional strike-breakers; it has perfected its 
organization so that the blow of a whistle or the 
mere uplifting of a hand can silence a great mill. 
Some of the notable strikes have been managed 
with rare skill and diplomacy. Some careful ob- 
servers, indeed, are inclined to the opinion that the 
amount of violence that takes place in the average 
strike has been grossly exaggerated. They main- 
tain that, considering the great number of strikes, 
the earnestness with which they are fought, the op- 
portunity they offer to the lawless, and the vast 
range of territory they cover, the amount of dam- 
age to property and person is unusually small and 
that the public, through sensational newspaper re- 
ports of one or two acts of violence, is led to an 
exaggerated opinion of its prevalence. 


It must be admitted, however, that the wisdom 
and conservatism of the national labor leaders is 
neutralized by their lack of authority in their par- 
ticular organization. A large price is paid for the 
autonomy that permits the local unions to declare 
strikes without the sanction of the general officers. 
There are only a few unions, perhaps half a dozen, 
in which, a local can be expelled for striking con- 
trary to the wish of the national officers. In the 
United Mine Workers' Union, for example, the 
local must secure the consent of the district offi- 
cers and national president, or, if these disagree, 
of the executive board, before it can declare a 
strike. The tendency to strike on the spur of the 
moment is much more marked among the newer 
unions than among the older ones, which have per- 
fected their strike machinery through much ex- 
perience and have learned the cost of hasty and 
unjustified action. 

A less conspicuous but none the less effective 
weapon in the hands of labor is the boycott, 1 
which is carried by some of the unions to a terrible 

1 In 1880, Lord Erne, an absentee Irish landlord, sent Captain 
Boycott to Connemara to subdue his irate tenants. The people of 
the region refused to have any intercourse whatever with the agent 
or liis family. And social and business ostracism has since been 
known as the boycott. 


perfection. It reached its greatest power In the dec- 
ade between 1881 and 1891. Though It was aimed 
at agreat variety of industries, it seemed to be pecu- 
liarly- effective in the theater, hotel, restaurant, and 
publishing business, and in the clothing and cigar 
trades. For sheer arbitrary coerciveness, nothing 
in the armory of the union is so effective as the boy- 
cott. A flourishing business finds its trade gone 
overnight. Leading customers withdraw their pat- 
ronage at the union's threat. The alert picket is 
the harbinger of ruin, and the union black list is as 
fraught with threat as the black hand. 

The New York Bureau of Statistics of Labor 
has shown that during the period of eight years 
between 1885 and 1892 there were 1358 boycotts 
in New York State alone. A sort of terrorism 
spread among the tradespeople of the cities. But 
the unions went too far. Instances of gross unfair- 
ness aroused public sympathy against the boy- 
cotters. In New York City, for instance, a Mrs. 
Grey operated a small bakery with nonunion help. 
Upon her refusal to unionize her shop at the com- 
mand of the walking delegate, her customers were 
sent the usual boycott notice, and pickets were 
posted. Her delivery wagons were followed, and 
her customers were threatened. Grocers selling 


her bread were systematically boycotted. All this 
persecution merely aroused public sympathy for 
Mrs. Grey, and she found her bread becoming im- 
mensely popular. The boycotters then demanded 
$2500 for paying their boycott expenses. When 
news of this attempt at extortion was made public, 
it heightened the tide of sympathy, the courts took 
up the matter, and the boycott failed. The New 
York Boy cotter., a journal devoted to this form of 
coercion, declared: "In boycotting we believe it 
to be legitimate to strike a man financially, socially, 
or politically. We believe in hitting him where it 
will hurt the most; we believe in remorselessly 
crowding him to the wall; but when he is down, 
instead of striking him, we would lift him up and 
stand him once more on his feet." When the boy- 
cott thus enlisted the aid of blackmail, it was 
doomed in the public esteem. Boycott indictments 
multiplied, and in one year in New York City alone, 
over one hundred leaders of such attempts at 
coercion were sentenced to imprisonment. 

The boycott, however, was not laid aside as a 
necessary weapon of organized labor because it 
had been abused by corrupt or overzealous union- 
ists, nor because it had been declared illegal by the 
courts. All the resources of the more conservative 


unions and of the American Federation of Labor 
have been enlisted to make it effective in extreme 
instances where the strike lias failed. This appli- 
cation of the method can best be illustrated by the 
two most important cases of boycott in our history, 
the Buck's Stove and Range case and the Danbury 
Hatters' case. Both were fought through the Feder- 
al courts, with the defendants backed by the Ameri- 
can Federation and opposed by the Anti-Boycott 
Association, a federation of employers. 

The Buck's Stove and Range Company of St. 
Louis incurred the displeasure of the Metal Polish- 
ers' Union by insisting upon a ten-hour day. On 
August 37, 1906, at five o'clock in the afternoon, on 
a prearranged signal, the employees walked out. 
They returned to work the next morning and all 
were permitted to take their accustomed places 
except those who had given the signal They were 
discharged. At five o'clock thai, aflernoon the 
men put aside their work, and the following morn- 
ing reappeared. Again the men who had given the 
signal were discharged, and I he rest went to work. 
The union then sent notice to the foreman that the 
discharged men must be reinstated or that, all would 
quit. A strike ensued which soon led lo a, boycott 
of national proportions. It spread from the local 


to the St. Louis Central Trades and Labor Union 
and to the Metal Polishers' Union. In 1907 the 
executive council of the American Federation of 
Labor officially placed the Buck's Stove and Range 
Company on the unfair list and gave this action 
wide and conspicuous circulation in The Federa- 
tionist. This boycott received further impetus 
from the action of the Mine Workers, who in their 
Annual Convention resolved that the Buck's Stove 
and Range Company be put on the unfair list and 
that <k any member of the United Mine Workers of 
America purchasing a stove of above make be 
fined $5.00 and failing to pay the same be expelled 
from the organization." 

Espionage became so efficient and letters from 
old customers withdrawing patronage became so 
numerous and came from so wide a range of terri- 
tory that the company found itself rapidly Hearing 
ruin. An injunction was secured, enjoining the 
American Federation from blacklisting the com- 
pany. The labor journals circumvented this man- 
date by publishing in display type the statement 
that "It is unlawful for the American Federation 
of Labor to boycott Buck's Stoves and Ranges/' 
and then in small type adroitly recited the news of 
the court's decision in such a way that the reader 


would see at a glance that the company was under 
union ban. These evasions of the court's order 
were interpreted as contempt, and in punishment 
the officers of the Federation were sentenced to 
imprisonment Frank Morrison for six months, 
John Mitchell for nine months, Samuel Gompers 
for twelve months. But a technicality intervened 
between the leaders and the cells awaiting them. 
The public throughout the country had followed 
the course of this case with mingled feelings of 
sympathy and disfavor, and though the boycott 
had never met with popular approval, on the 
whole the public was relieved to learn that the 
jail-sentences were not to be served. 

The D anbury Hatters' boycott was brought on 
in 1903 by the attempt of the Hatters' Union to 
make a closed shop of a manufacturing concern in 
Danbury, Connecticut. The unions moved upon 
Danbury, flushed with two recent victories -- one 
in Philadelphia, where an important hat factory 
had agreed to the closed shop after spending 
some $40,000 in fighting, and another at Orange, 
New Jersey, where a manufacturer had spent 
$25,000. But as the Danbury concern was de- 
termined to fight the union, in 1J)02 a nation- 
wide boycott was declared. The company then 


brought suit against members of the union in the 
United States District Court. Injunction proceed- 
ings reached the Supreme Court of the United 
States on a demurrer, and in February, 1908, the 
court declared that the Sherman Anti-Trust Law 
forbade interstate boycotts. The case then re- 
turned to the original court for trial. Testimony 
was taken in many States, and after a trial lasting 
twelve weeks the jury assessed the damages to the 
plaintiff at $74,000. On account of error, the case 
was remanded for re-trial in 1911. At the second 
trial the jury gave the plaintiff a verdict for 
$80 9 ()00, the full amount asked. According to the 
law, this amount was trebled, leaving the judg- 
ment, with costs added, at $252,000. The Supreme 
Court having sustained the verdict, the puzzling 
question of how to collect it arose. As such funds 
as the union had were invulnerable to process, the 
savings bank accounts of the individual defendants 
were attached. The union insisted that the defend- 
ants were not taxable for accrued interest, and the 
United States Supreme Court, now appealed to 
for a third time, sustained the plaintiff's contention. 
In this manner $60,000 were obtained. Fore- 
closure proceedings were then begun against one 
hundred and forty homes belonging to union men 


In the towns of Danbury, Norwalk, and Bethel. 

The union boasted that this sale would prove only 
an incubus to the purchasers, for no one would 
dare occupy the houses sold under such circum- 
stances. In the meantime the American Federa- 
tion, which had financed the litigation, undertook 
to raise the needed sum by voluntary collection 
and made Gompers's birthday the occasion for a 
gift to the Danbury local. The Federation insisted 
that the houses be sold on foreclosure and that the 
collected money be used not as a prior settlement 
but as an indemnity to the individuals thus de- 
prived of their homes. Rancor gave way to reason, 
however, and just before the day fixed for the fore- 
closure sale the matter was settled. In all, $235,- 
000 was paid in damages by the union to the com- 
pany. In the fourteen years during which this 
contest was waged, about forty defendants, one of 
the plaintiffs, and eight judges who had passed on 
the controversy, died. The outcome served us a 
spur lo the Federation in hastening through Con- 
gress the Clayton bill of 1014, designed to place la- 
bor unions beyond the read) of the anti-trust laws. 
The union label has in more recent years achieved 
importance as a weapon in union warfare. This 
is a mark or device denoting a, union-made article. 


It might be termed a sort of labor union trade- 
mark. Union men are admonished to favor the 
goods so marked, but it was not until national 
organizations were highly perfected that the label 
could become of much practical value. It is a 
device of American invention and was first used 
by the cigar makers in 1874. In 1880 their nation- 
al body adopted the now familiar blue label and $ 
with great skill and perseverance and at a consider- 
able outlay of money, has pushed its union-made 
ware, in the face of sweat-shop competition, of 
the introduction of cigar making machinery, and 
of fraudulent imitation. Gradually other unions 
making products of common consumption adopted 
labels. Conspicuous among these were the gar- 
ment makers, the hat makers, the shoe makers, 
and the brewery workers. As the value of the 
label manifestly depends upon the trade it en- 
tices, the unions are careful to emphasize the 
sanitary conditions and good workmanship which 
a label represents. 

The application of the label is being rapidly 
extended. Building materials are now in many 
large cities under label domination. In Chicago 
the bricklayers have for over fifteen years been 
able to force the builders to use only union-label 


brick, and the carpenters have forced the contrac- 
tors to use only material from union mills. There 
is practically no limit to this form of mandatory 
boycott. The barbers, retail clerks, hotel em- 
ployees, and butcher workmen hang union cards 
in their places of employment or wear badges as 
insignia of union loyalty. As these labels do not 
come under the protection of the United States 
trade-mark laws, the unions have not infrequently 
been forced to bring suits against counterfeiters. 

Finally, in their efforts to fortify themselves 
against undue increase in the rate of production or 
"speeding up," against the inrush of new machin- 
ery, and against the debilitating alternation of rush 
work and no work, the unions have attempted to 
restrict the output. The United States Industri- 
al Commission reported in 1901 thai, "there has 
always been a strong tendency among labor or- 
ganizations to discourage exertion beyond a certain 
limit. The tendency does not express itself in for- 
mal rules. On the contrary, if- appears chiefly in 
the silent, or at least informal pressure of working 
class opinion." Some unions have rules, others a 
distinct understanding, on the subject of a normal 
day's work, and some discourage piecework. But 
it is difficult to determine how far this policy has 


been carried in application. Carroll D. Wright, 
in a special report as United States Commissioner 
of Labor in 1904, said that "unions in some cases 
fix a limit to the amount of work a workman may 
perform a day. Usually it is a secret understand- 
ing, but sometimes, when the union is strong, 
no concealment is made." His report mentioned 
several trades, including the building trades, in 
which this curtailment is prevalent. 

The course of this industrial warfare between 
the unions and the employers has been replete 
with sordid details of selfishness, corruption, hatred, 
suspicion, and malice. In every community the 
strike or the boycott has been an ominous visitant, 
leaving in its trail a social bitterness which even 
time finds it difficult to efface. In the great cities 
and the factory towns, the constant repetition of 
labor struggles has created centers of perennial dis- 
content which are sources of never-ending reprisals. 
In spite of individual injustice, however, one can 
discern in the larger movements a current setting 
towards a collective justice and a communal ideal 
which society in self-defense is imposing upon 
the combatants. 


IT was not to be expected that the field of organized 
labor would be left undisputed to the moderation 
of the trade union after its triumph over the ex- 
treme methods of the Knights of Labor. The 
public, however, did not anticipate the revolution- 
ary ideal which again sought to inflame industrial 
unionism. After the decadence of the older type 
of the industrial union several conditions mani- 
fested themselves which now, in retrospect, appear 
to have encouraged the violent militants who call 
themselves the Industrial Workers of the World. 

First of all, there took place in Europe the rise 
of syndicalism with its adoption of sympathetic 
strikes as one of its methods. Syndicalism flour- 
ished especially in France, where from its incep- 
tion the alert French mind had shaped for it a 
philosophy of violence, whose subtlest exponent 
was Georges Sorel. The Socialist Future of Trade 



Unions, which he published in 1897, was an early 
exposition of his views, but his Reflections upon 
Violence in 1908 is the best known of his contribu- 
tions to this newer doctrine. With true Gallic fer- 
vor, the French workingman had sought to trans- 
late his philosophy into action, and in 1906 under- 
took, with the aid of a revolutionary organization 
known as the Confederation General dn Travail, a 
series of strikes which culminated in the railroad 
and post office strike of 1909. All these uprisings 
for they were in reality more than strikes 
were characterized by extreme language, by vio- 
lent action, and by impressive public demonstra- 
tions. In Italy, Spain, Norway, and Belgium, the 
syndicalists were also active. Their partiality to 
violent methods attracted general attention in 
Europe and appealed to that small group of Ameri- 
can labor leaders whose experience in the Western 
Federation of Miners had taught them the value of 
dynamite as a press agent. 

In the meantime material was being gathered 
for a new outbreak in the United States. The 
casual laborers had greatly increased in numbers, 
especially in the West. These migratory working- 
men- the u hobo miners," the "hobo lumber- 
jacks," the "blanket stiffs," of colloquial speech 


wander about the country in search of work. They 
rarely have ties of family and seldom ties of local- 
ity. About one-half of these wanderers are Ameri- 
can born. They are to be described with precision 
as " floaters. " Their range of operations includes 
the wheat regions west of the Mississippi, the iron 
mines of Michigan and Minnesota, the mines and 
forests of Idaho, Montana, Colorado, Washington, 
and Oregon, and the fields of California and Ari- 
zona. They prefer to winter in the cities, but, as 
their only refuge is the bunk lodging house, they 
increase the social problem in New York, Chicago, 
San Francisco, and other centers of the unem- 
ployed. Many of these migrants never were skilled 
workers; but a considerable portion of them have 
been forced down into the ranks of the unskilled 
by the inevitable tragedies of prolonged unemploy- 
ment. Such men lend a willing ear to the labor 
agitator. The exact number in this wandering 
class is not known. The railroad companies have 
estimated that at a given time there have been 
500,000 hobos trying to beat their way from place 
to place. Unquestionably a large percentage of 
the 23,964 trespassers killed and of the 25,236 in- 
jured on railway rights of way from 1901 to 1904 
belonged to this class. 


It Is not alone these drifters, however, who be- 
cause of their Irresponsibility and their hostility 
toward society became easy victims to the indus- 
trial organizer. The great mass of unskilled work- 
ers in the factory towns proved quite as tempting 
to the propagandist. Among laborers of this class, 
wages are the lowest and living conditions the most 
uninviting. Moreover, this group forms the indus- 
trial reservoir which receives the settlings of the 
most recent European and Asiatic immigration. 
These people have a standard of living and concep- 
tions of political and individual freedom which are 
at variance with American traditions. Though their 
employment is steadier than that of the migratory 
laborer, and though they often have ties of family 
and other stabilizing responsibilities, their lives 
are subject to periods of unemployment, and these 
fluctuations serve to feed their innate restlessness. 
They are, in quite the literal sense of the word, 
American proletarians. They are more volatile 
than any European proletarian, for they have 
learned the lesson of migration, and they retain 
the socialistic and anarchistic philosophy of their 
European fellow-workers. 

There were several attempts to organize casual 
labor after the decline of the Knights of Labor. 


But it is difficult to arouse any sustained interest 
In industrial organizations among workingmen of 
this class. They lack the motive of members of a 
trade union, and the migratory character of such 
workers deprives their organization of stability. 
One industrial organization, however, has been of 
the greatest encouragement to the I. W. W. The 
Western Federation of Miners, which was organ- 
ized at Butte, Montana, on May 15, 1893, has 
enjoyed a more turbulent history than any other 
American labor union. It was conceived in that 
spirit of rough resistance which local unions of 
miners, for some years before the amalgamation 
of the unions, had opposed to the ruthless and firm 
determination of the mine owners. In 1897, the 
president of the miners, after quoting the words of 
the Constitution of the United States giving citi- 
zens the right to bear arms, said: "This you should 
comply with immediately. Every union should 
have a rifle club. I strongly advise you to provide 
every member with the latest improved rifle which 
can be obtained from the factory at a nominal 
price. I entreat you to take action on this impor- 
tant question, so that in two years we can hear the 
inspiring music of the martial tread of 25,000 
armed men in the ranks of labor." 


This militant vision was fortunately never quite 
fulfilled. But armed strikers there were, by the thou- 
sands, and the gruesome details of their fight with 
mine owners in Colorado are set forth in a special re- 
port of the United States Commissioner of Labor in 
1905 . The use of dynamite became early associated 
with this warfare in Colorado. In 1903 a fatal ex- 
plosion occurred in the Vindicator mine in Teller 
County, and serious disorders broke out in Telluride, 
the county seat of San Miguel County. In 1904 a 
cage lifting miners from the shaft in the Independ- 
ence mine at Victor was dropped and fifteen men 
were killed. There were many minor outrages, iso- 
lated murders, "white cap" raids, infernal machines, 
deportations, black lists, and so on. In Montana 
and Idaho similar scenes were enacted and reached 
a climax in the murder of Governor Steunenberg 
of Idaho. Yet the union officers indicted for this 
murder were released by the trial jury. 

Such was the preparatory school of the new 
unionism, which had its inception in several infor- 
mal conferences held in Chicago. The first, at- 
tended by only six radical leaders, met in the au- 
tumn of 1904. The second, held in January, 1905, 
issued a manifesto attacking the trade unions, call- 
ing for a "new departure" in the labor movement. 

194 THE OF 

and inviting those who desired to join in organ- 
izing such a movement to "meet in convention 
in Chicago the 7th day of June, 1905. " About 
two hundred persons responded to this appeal and 
organized the Industrial Workers of the World, 
almost unnoticed by the press of the day and 
scorned by the American Federation of Labor, 
whose official organ had called those in attendance 
at the second conference "engaged in the delecta- 
ble work of trying to divert, pervert, and disrupt 
the labor movement of the country." 

An overwhelming influence in this convention 
was wielded by the Western Federation of Miners 
and the Socialistic American Labor Union, two 
radical labor bodies which looked upon the trade 
unions as "union snobbery" and the "aristocracy 
of labor," and upon the American Federation as 
"the consummate flower of craft unionism" and 
"a combination of job trusts." They believed 
trade unionism wrong in principle. They discarded 
the principle of trade autonomy for the principle 
of laboring class solidarity, for, as one of their 
spokesmen said, "The industrial union, in contra- 
distinction to the craft union, is thai, organization 
through which all its members in one industry, or 
in all industries if necessary, can act as a unit/' 


While this convention was united in denouncing 
the trade unions, it was not so unanimous in other 
matters, for the leaders were all veterans in those 
factional quarrels which characterize Socialists the 
world over. Eugene V. Debs, for example, was the 
hero of the Knights of Labor and had achieved 
wide notoriety during the Pullman strike by being 
imprisoned for contempt of court. William D. 
Hay wood, popularly known as "Big Bill/' re- 
ceived a rigorous training in the Western Federa- 
tion of Miners. Daniel DeLeon, whose right name, 
the American Federationist alleged, was Daniel 
Loeb, was a university graduate and a vehement 
revolutionary, the leader of the Socialistic Labor 
party, and the editor of the Daily People. A. M. 
Simons, the leader of the Socialist party and the 
editor of the Coming Nation, was at swords' points 
with DeLeon. William E. Trautmann was the flu- 
ent spokesman of the anti-political faction. These 
men dominated the convention. 

After some twelve days of discussion, they 
agreed upon a constitution which established six 
departments, 1 provided for a general executive 

1 1. Agriculture, Land, Fisheries, and Water Products. 2. 
Mining. 8. Transportation and Communication. 4. Manu- 
facturing and General Production. 5. Construction. 6. Public 

196 THE OF 

board with centralized powers, and at the same 
time left to the local and department organi- 
zations complete industrial autonomy. The I. 
W. W. in "the first constitution, crude and provi- 
sional as it was, made room for all the world's 
workers. 551 This was, indeed, the great object of 
the organization. 

Whatever visions of world conquest the mili- 
tants may at first have fostered were soon shattered 
by internal strife. There were unreconcilable ele- 
ments in the body: those who regarded the politi- 
cal aspect as paramount and industrial unions as 
allies of socialism; those who regarded the forming 
of unions as paramount and politics as secondary; 
and those who regarded all forms of political activ- 
ity as mere waste of energy. The first two groups 
were tucked under the wings of the Socialist party 
and the Socialist Labor party. The third group 
was frankly anarchistic and revolutionary. In the 
fourth annual convention the Socialist factions 
withdrew, established headquarters at Detroit, 
organized what is called the Detroit branch, and 
left the Chicago field to the revolutionists. So 
socialism "pure and simple, " and what amounts to 

1 J. G. Brissenden, The Launching of the Industrial Workers o/ 
the World, page 41. 

THE NEW THE L W. W. 107 

anarchism "pure and simple/ 9 fell out, after they 
had both agreed to disdain trade unionism "pure 
and simple." 

This shift proved the great opportunity for Hay- 
wood and his disciples. Feeling himself now free 
of all political encumbrances, he gathered around 
him a small group of enthusiastic leaders, some of 
whom had a gift of diabolical intrigue, and with in- 
domitable perseverance and zeal he set himself to 
seeking out the neglected, unskilled, and casual 
laborer. Within a few years he so dominated the 
movement that, in the public mind, the I. W. W. is 
associated with the Chicago branch and the Detroit 
faction is well-nigh forgotten. 

As a preliminary to a survey of some of the 
battles that made the I. W. W. a symbol of terror 
in many communities it will be well to glance for a 
moment at the underlying doctrines of the organi- 
zation. In a preamble now notorious it declared 
that "the working class and the employing class 
have nothing in common. There can be no peace 
so long as hunger and want are found among mil- 
lions of working people, and the few who make up 
the employing class have all the good things of 
life. Between these two classes a struggle must 
go on until the workers of the world as a class take 


possession of the earth and the machinery of 
production and abolish the wage system/ 9 

This thesis is a declaration of war as well as a 
declaration of principles. The I. W. W. aims at 
nothing less than the complete overthrow of mod- 
ern capitalism and the political structure which 
accompanies it. Emma Goldman, who prides 
herself on having received her knowledge of syn- 
dicalism "from actual contact" and not from 
books, says that "syndicalism repudiates and con- 
demns the present industrial arrangement as un- 
just and criminal." Edward Hamoncl calls the 
labor contract "the sacred cow" of industrial 
idolatry and says that the aim of the I. W. W. is 
"the abolition of the wage system. 1 ' And W. E. 
Trautmann affirms that "the industrial unionist 
holds that there can be no agreement with the em- 
ployers of labor which the workers have to consider 
sacred and inviolable/' In place of what they 
consider an unjust and universal capitalistic order 
they would establish a new society in which "the 
unions of the workers will own and manage all 
industries, regulate consumption, arid administer 
the general social interests." 

How is this contemplated revolution to be 
achieved? By the working classes themselves and 


ftot through political activity, for "one of the first 
principles of the I. W. W. is that political power 
rests on economic power. ... It must gain con- 
trol of the shops, ships, railways, mines, mills. 3 * 
And how is it to gain this all-embracing control? 
By persuading every worker to join the union, the 
"one great organization" which, according to Hay- 
wood, is to be "big enough to take in the black 
man, the white man; big enough to take in all 
nationalities an organization that will be strong 
enough to obliterate state boundaries, to obliter- 
ate national boundaries. . . . We, the I. W. W., 
stand on our two feet, the class struggle and indus- 
trial unionism, and coolly say we want the whole 
earth." When the great union has become uni- 
versal, it will simply take possession of its own, will 
"lock the employers out for good as owners and 
parasites, and give them a chance to become use- 
ful toilers." The resistance that will assuredly be 
made to this process of absorption is to be met by 
direct action, the general strike, and sabotage 
a trinity of phrases imported from Europe, each 
one of special significance. 

"The general strike means a stoppage of work," 
says Emma Goldman with naive brevity. It was 
thought of long before the I. W. W. existed, but it 


has become the most valuable weapon In their 
arsenal. Their pamphlets contain many allusions 
to the great strikes in Belgium, Russia, Italy, 
France, Scandinavia, and other European coun- 
tries, that were so widespread as to merit being 
called general. If all the workers can be induced 
to stop work, even for a very brief interval, 
such action would be regarded as the greatest 
possible manifestation of the "collective power 
of the producers." 

Direct action, a term translated directly from 
the French, is more difficult to define. This 
method sets itself in opposition to the methods of the 
capitalist in retaining control of industry, which is 
spoken of as indirect action. Laws, machinery, 
credits, courts, and constabulary are indirect 
methods whereby the capitalist keeps possession of 
his property. The industrialist matches this with 
a direct method. For example, he engages in a 
passive strike, obeying rules so literally as to de- 
stroy both their utility and his work; or in an oppor- 
tune strike, ceasing work suddenly when he knows 
his employei has orders that must be immediately 
filled; or in a temporary strike, quitting work one 
day and coming back the next. His weapon is 
organized opportunism, wielding an unexpected 

THE NEW THE I. W. W. 201 

blow, and keeping the employer In a frenzy of 
fearful anticipation. 

Finally, sabotage is a word that expresses the 
whole philosophy and practice of revolutionary 
labor. John Spargo, in his Syndicalism, Industrial 
Unionism and Socialism, traces the origin of the 
word to the dockers' union in London. Attempt 
after attempt had proved futile to win by strikes 
the demands of these unskilled workers. The men 
were quite at the end of their resources, when 
finally they hit upon the plan of "lying down on 
the job" or "soldiering." As a catchword they 
adopted the Scotch phrase ca'canny, to go slow or 
be careful not to do too much. As an example they 
pointed to the Chinese coolies who met a refusal of 
increased wages by cutting off a few inches from 
their shovels on the principle of "small pay, small 
work." He then goes on to say that "the idea 
was very easily extended. From the slowing up 
of the human worker to the slowing up of the iron 
worker, the machine, was an easy transition. Judi- 
ciously planned "accidents' might easily create 
confusion for which no one could be blamed. A 
few * mistakes' in handling cargoes might easily 
cost the employers far more than a small increase 
in wages would. " 

202 THE OF 

Some French syndicalists, visiting London, were 
greatly impressed with this new cunning. But as 
they had no ready translation for the Scottish ca'- 
canny, they ingeniously abstracted the same idea 
from the old French saying Travailler a coups de 
sabots to work as if one had on wooden shoes 
and sabotage thus became a new and expressive 
phrase in the labor war. 

Armed with these weapons, Haywood and his 
henchmen moved forward. Not long after the 
first convention in 1905, they made their presence 
known at Goldfield, Nevada. Then they struck 
simultaneously at Youngstown, Ohio, and Port- 
land, Oregon. The first battle, however, to attract 
general notice was at McKees Rocks, Pennsylvania, 
in 1909. In this warfare between the recently or- 
ganized unskilled workers and the efficient state 
constabulary, the I. W. W. sent notice "that for 
every striker killed or injured by the cossacks, the 
life of a cossack will be exacted in return." And 
they collected their gruesome toll. 

In 1912 occurred the historic strike in the mill 

town of Lawrence, Massachusetts. This affair 

was so adroitly managed by the organizers of the 

Workers that within a few weeks every newspaper 

of importance in America was publishing long 


descriptions of the new anarchism. Magazine writ- 
ers, self-appointed reformers, delegations represent- 
ing various organizations, three committees of the 
state legislature, the Governor's personal emissary, 
the United States Attorney, the United States 
Commissioner of Labor, and a congressional com- 
mittee devoted their time to numerous investiga- 
tions, thereby giving immense satisfaction to those 
obscure agitators who were lifted suddenly into 
the glare of universal notoriety, to the disgust of 
the town thus dragged into unenviable publicity, 
and to the discomfiture of the employers. 

The legislature of Massachusetts had reduced 
the hours of work of women and children from fifty- 
six to fifty-four hours a week. Without making 
adequate announcement, the employers withheld 
two hours' pay from the weekly stipend. A large 
portion of the workers were foreigners, represent- 
ing eighteen different nationalities, most of them 
with a wholly inadequate knowledge of English, 
and all of an inflammable temperament. When 
they found their pay short, a group inarched 
through the mills, inciting others to join them, and 
the strike was on. The American Federation of 
Labor had paid little attention to these workers. 
There were some trade unions in the mills, bat 


most of the workers were unorganized except for 
the fact that the I. W. W. had, about eight months 
before, gathered several hundred into an industrial 
union. Yet it does not appear that this union 
started the strike. It was a case of spontaneous 
combustion. No sooner had it begun, however, than 
Joseph J. Ettor, an I. W. W. organizer, hastened 
to take charge, and succeeded so well that within 
a few weeks he claimed 7000 members in his union. 
Ettor proved a crafty, resourceful general, quick 
in action, magnetic in personality, a linguist who 
could command his polyglot mob. He was also a 
successful press agent who exploited fully the un- 
palatable drinking water provided by the com- 
panies, the inadequate sewerage, the unpaved 
streets, and the practical destitution of many of 
the workers. The strikers made an attempt to 
send children to other towns so that they might be 
better cared for. After several groups had thus 
been taken away, the city of Lawrence interfered, 
claiming that many children had been sent without 
their parents' consent. On the 24th of February, 
when a group of forty children and their mothers 
gathered at the railway station to take a train for 
Philadelphia, the police after due warning refused 
to let them depart. It was then that the Federal 

THE NEW THE I. W. W. 05 

Government was called upon to take action. The 
strike committee telegraphed Congress : " Twenty- 
five thousand striking textile workers and citizens 
of Lawrence protest against the hideous brutality 
with which the police handled the women and 
children of Lawrence this morning. Carrying out 
the illegal and original orders of the city marshal 
to prevent free citizens from sending their children 
out of the city, striking men were knocked down, 
women and mothers who were trying to protect 
their children from the onslaught of the police 
were attacked and clubbed." So widespread was 
the opinion that unnecessary brutality had taken 
place that petitions for an investigation poured in 
upon Congress from many States and numerous 

The whole country was watching the situation. 
The hearings held by a congressional committee 
emphasized the stupidity of the employers in ar- 
bitrarily curtailing the wage, the inadequacy of the 
town government in handling the situation, and 
the cupidity of the I. W. W. leaders in taking ad- 
vantage of the fears, the ignorance, the inflamma- 
bility of the workers, and in creating a "terrorism 
which impregnated the whole city for days." Law- 
rence became a symbol. It stood for the American 


factory town; for municipal indifference and social 
neglect, for heterogeneity in population, for the 
tinder pile awaiting the incendiary match. 

At Little Falls, New York, a strike occurred in 
the textile mills in October, 1912, as a result of a 
reduction of wages due to a fifty-four hour law. 
No organization was responsible for the strike, but 
no sooner had the operatives walked out than here 
also the I. W. W. appeared. The leaders ordered 
every striker to do something which would involve 
arrest in order to choke the local jail and the courts. 
The state authorities investigating the situation 
reported that *' all of those on strike were foreigners 
and few, if any, could speak or understand the Eng- 
lish language, complete control of the strike being 
in the hands of the I. W. W." 

In February, 1913, about 15,000 employees in 
the rubber works at Akron, Ohio, struck. The in- 
troduction of machinery into the manufacture of 
automobile tires caused a reduction in the piece- 
work rate in certain shops. One of the companies 
posted a notice on the 10th of February that this 
reduction would take effect immediately. No time 
was given for conference, and it was this sudden 
arbitrary act which precipitated all the discontent 
lurking for a long time in the background; and the 


employees walked out. The legislative investigat- 
ing committee reported "there was practically no 
organization existing among the rubber employees 
when the strike began- A small local of the Indus- 
trial Workers of the World comprised of between 
fifteen and fifty members had been formed. . . . 
Simultaneously with the beginning of the strike, 
organizers of the I. W. W. appeared on the ground 
inviting and urging the striking employees to unite 
with their organization." Many of these testified 
before the public authorities that they had not 
joined because they believed in the preachings of 
the organization but because "they hoped through 
collective action to increase their wages and im- 
prove their conditions of employment." The tac- 
tics of the strike leaders soon alienated the public, 
which had at first been inclined towards the strikers, 
and acts of violence led to the organization of a 
vigilance committee of one thousand citizens which 
warned the leaders to leave town. 

In February, 1913, some 25,000 workers in the 
silk mills of Paterson, New Jersey, struck, and 
here again the I. W. W repeated its maneuvers. 
Sympathetic meetings took place in New York and 
other cities. Daily "experience meetings" were 
held in Paterson and all sorts of devices were 


invented to maintain the fervor of the strikers. 
The leaders threatened to make Patcrson a a howl 
ing wilderness," an "industrial graveyard/ 5 and 
<k to wipe it off the map." This threat naturally 
arrayed the citizens against the strikers, over one 
thousand of whom were lodged in jail before the 
outbreak was over. Among the five ringleaders ar- 
rested and held for the grand jury were Elizabeth 
Gurley Flynn and Patrick Quinlan, whose trials 
attracted wide attention. Elizabeth Flynn, an 
appealing young widow scarcely over twenty-one, 
testified that she had begun her work as an organ- 
izer at the age of sixteen, that she had not incited 
strikers to violence but had only advised them to 
picket and to keep their hands in their pockets, 
"so that detectives could not put stones in them 
as they had done in other strikes." The jury dis- 
agreed and she was discharged. Quinla.n, an un- 
usually attractive young man, also a professional 
I. W. Wo agitator, was found guilty of inciting to 
violence and was sentenced to a long term of im- 
prisonment. After serving nine months he was 
freed because of a monster petition signed by some 
20,000 sympathetic persons all over the United 
States. Clergymen, philanthropists, and promi- 
nent public men, were among the signers, as well as 

THE NEW THE I. W. W. 209 

the jurors who convicted and the sheriff who locked 
up the defendant. 

These cases served to fix further public atten- 
tion upon the nature of the new movement and the 
sort of revivalists its evangel of violence was pro- 
ducing. Employers steadfastly refused to deal 
with the I. W. W., although they repeatedly as- 
serted they were willing to negotiate with their em- 
ployees themselves. After three months of strike 
and turmoil the mayor of Paterson had said: 
"The fight which Paterson is making is the fight of 
the nation. Their agitation has no other object in 
view but to establish a reign of terror throughout 
the United States." A large number of thoughtful 
people all over the land were beginning to share 
this view. 

In New York City a new sort of agitation was 
devised in the winter of 1913-14 under the cap- 
taincy of a young man who quite suddenly found 
himself widely advertised. Frank Tannenbaum 
organized an "army of the unemployed," com- 
mandeered Rutgers Square as a rendezvous, Fifth 
Avenue as a parade ground, and churches and 
parish houses as forts and commissaries. Several 
of the churches were voluntarily opened to them, 
but other churches they attempted to enter by 


storm. In March, 1914, Tannenbaum led several 
score into the church of St. Alphonsus while mass 
was being celebrated. Many arrests followed this 
bold attempt to emulate the French Revolution- 
ists. Though sympathizers raised $7500 bail for 
the ringleader, Tannenbaum loyally refused to ac- 
cept it as long as any of his '"army" remained in 
jail. Squads of his men entered restaurants, ate 
their fill, refused to pay, and then found their 
way to the workhouse. So for several months 
a handful of unemployed, some of them profes- 
sional unemployed, held the headlines of the met- 
ropolitan papers, rallied to their defense sentimen- 
tal social sympathizers, and succeeded in calling 
the attention of the public to a serious industrial 

At Granite City, Illinois, another instance of 
unrest occurred when several thousand laborers in 
the steel mills, mostly Roumanians and Bulgarians, 
demanded an increase in wages. When the whistle 
blew on the appointed morning, they gathered at 
the gates, refused to enter, and continued to shout 
" Two dollars a day ! " Though the manager feared 
violence and posted guards, no violence was offered. 
Suddenly at the end of two hours the men quietly 
resumed their work, and the management believed 


the trouble was over. But for several successive 
mornings this maneuver was repeated. Strike 
breakers were then sent for. For a week, however, 
the work went forward as usual. The order for 
strike breakers was countermanded. Then came 
a continued repetition of the early morning strikes 
until the company gave way. 

Nor were the subtler methods of sabotage for- 
gotten in these demonstrations. From many 
places came reports of emery dust in the gearings 
of expensive machines. Men boasted of powdered 
soap emptied into water tanks that fed boilers, of 
kerosene applied to belting, of railroad switches 
that had been tampered with. With these and 
many similar examples before them, the public 
became convinced that the mere arresting of a few 
leaders was futile. A mass meeting at Ipswich, 
Massachusetts, in 1913, declared, as its principle of 
action, "We have got to meet force with force," 
and then threatened to run the entire local I. W, 
W. group out of town. In many towns vigilance 
committees acted as eyes, ears, and hands for the 
community. When the community refused to 
remain neutral, the contest assumed a different 
aspect and easily became a feud between a small 
group of militants and the general public. 


In the West this contest assumed its most aggres- 
sive form. At Spokane, In 1910, the jail was soon 
filled, and sixty prisoners went on a hunger strike 
which cost, several lives. In the lumber mills of 
Aberdeen, South Dakota, explosions and riots 
occurred. In Hoquiam, Washington, a twelve- 
foot stockade surmounted by barbed wire entangle- 
ments failed to protect the mills from the assaults 
of strikers. At Gray's Harbor, Washington, a citi- 
zens' committee cut the electric light wires to 
darken the meeting place of the I. W. W. and then 
used axe handles and wagon spokes to drive the 
members out of town. At Everett, Washington, a 
strike in the shingle mills led to the expulsion of 
the I. W. W. The leaders then called for volun- 
teers to invade Everett, and several hundred mem- 
bers sailed from Seattle. They were met at the 
dock, however, by a large committee of citizens 
and were informed by the sheriff that they would 
not be allowed to land. After some parley, the 
invaders opened fire, and in the course of the shoot- 
ing that followed the sheriff was seriously wound* 
ed, five persons were killed, and many were in- 
jured. The boat and its small invading army then 
returned to Seattle without making a landing 
at Everett. 

The I. W. W, found an excuse for their riotous 
action in the refusal of communities to permit them 
to speak in the streets and public places. This, 
they claimed, was an invasion of their constitu- 
tional right of free speech. The experience of San 
Diego serves as an example of their "free speech" 
campaigns. In 1910, I. W. W. agitators began to 
hold public meetings in the streets, in the course of 
which their language increased in ferocity until the 
indignation of the community was aroused. An 
ordinance was then passed by the city council pro- 
hibiting street speaking within the congested por- 
tions of the city, but allowing street meetings in 
other parts of the city if a permit from the police 
department were first obtained. There was, how- 
ever, no law requiring the issue of such a permit, 
and none was granted to the agitators. This re- 
striction of their liberties greatly incensed the agita- 
tors, who at once raised the cry of "free speech'* 
and began to hold meetings in defiance of the 
ordinance. The jail was soon glutted with these 
apostles of riotous speaking. In order to delay 
the dispatch of the court's overcrowded calendar, 
every one demanded a jury trial. The mayor of 
the town then received a telegram from the general 
secretary of the organization which disclosed their 


tactics: "This fight will be continued until free 
speech Is established in San Diego if it takes twenty 
thousand members and twenty years to do so." 
The national membership of the I. W. W. had been 
drafted as an invading army, to be a constant irri- 
tation to the city until it surrendered- The police 
asserted that "there are bodies of men leaving all 
parts of the country for San Diego " for the purpose 
of defying the city authorities and overwhelming 
its municipal machinery. A committee of vigi- 
lantes armed with "revolvers, knives, night-sticks, 
black jacks, and black snakes," supported by the 
local press and commercial bodies, undertook to 
run the unwelcome guests out of town. That this 
was not done gently is clearly disclosed by subse- 
quent official evidence. Culprits were loaded into 
auto trucks at night, taken to the county line, made 
to kiss the flag, sing the national anthem, run the 
gauntlet between rows of vigilantes provided with 
cudgels and, after thus proving their patriotism 
under duress, were told never to return. 

"There is an unwritten law," one of the local 
papers at this time remarked, "that permits a citi- 
zen to avenge his outraged honor. There is an un- 
written law that permits a community to defend 
itself by any means in its power, lawful or unlawful, 


against any evil which the operation of the written 
law' is inadequate to oppose or must oppose by 
slow, tedious, and unnecessarily expensive proceed- 
ings," So this municipal homeopathy of curing law- 
lessness with lawlessness received public sanction. 
With the declaration of war against Germany in 
April, 1917, hostility to the I. W. W. on the part 
of the American public was intensified. The mem- 
bers of the organization opposed war. Their leaflet 
War and the Workers, bore this legend : 








Soon rumors abounded that German money wag 
being used to aid the I. W. W. in their plots. In 


Oklahoma, Texas, Illinois, Kansas, and othei 
States, members of the organization were arrested 
for failure to comply with the draft law. The gov- 
ernors of Oregon, Washington, Montana, Idaho, 
and Nevada met to plan laws for suppressing the 
I. W. W. Similar legislation was urged upon Con- 
gress. Senator Thomas, in a report to the Senate, 
accused the I. W. W. of cooperating with German 
agents in the copper mines and harvest fields of the 
West by inciting the laborers to strikes and to the 
destruction of food and material Popular opinion 
in the West inclined to the view of Senator Poin- 
dexter of Washington when he said that "most of 
the I. W. W. leaders are outlaws or ought to be 
made outlaws because of their official utterances, 
inflammatory literature and acts of violence/* 
Indeed, scores of communities in 1917 took matters 
into their own hands. Over a thousand I. W. W. 
strikers in the copper mines of Bisbee, Arizona, 
were loaded into freight cars and shipped over the 
state line. In Billings, Montana, one leader was 
horsewhipped, and two others were hanged until 
they were unconscious. In Tulsa, Oklahoma, a 
group of seventeen members were taken from 
policemen, thoroughly flogged, tarred, feathered, 
and driven out of town by vigilantes. 

THE NEW THE I. W. W. 217 

The Federal Governments after an extended 
inquiry through, the secret service, raided the De- 
troit headquarters of the I. W. W., where a plot to 
tie up lake traffic was brewing. The Chicago offices 
were raided some time later; over one hundred and 
sixty leaders of the organization from all parts of 
the country were indicted as a result of the exami- 
nation of the wagon-load of papers and documents 
seized. As a result, 166 indictments were returned. 
Of these 99 defendants were found guilty by the 
trial jury, 16 were dismissed during the trial, and 
51 were dismissed before the trial In Cleveland, 
Buffalo, and other lake ports similar disclosures 
were made, and everywhere the organization fell 
under popular and official suspicion. 

In many other portions of the country members 
of the I. W. W. were tried for conspiracy under the 
Federal espionage act. In January, 1919, a trial 
jury in Sacramento found 46 defendants guilty. 
The offense in the majority of these cases con- 
sisted in opposing military service rather than in 
overt acts against the Government. But in May 
and June, 1919, the country was startled by a series 
of bomb outrages aimed at the United States 
Attorney-General, certain Federal district judges, 
and other leading public personages, which were 


evidently the result of centralized planning and 
were executed by members of the I. W. W., aided 
very considerably by foreign Bolshevists 

In spite of its spectacular warfare and its mo- 
nopoly of newspaper headlines, the I. W. W. has 
never been numerically strong. The first conven- 
tion claimed a membership of 60,000. All told, the 
organization has issued over 200,000 cards since 
its inception, but this total never constituted its 
membership at any given time, for no more fluc- 
tuating group ever existed. When the I. W. W, 
fosters a strike of considerable proportions, the 
membership rapidly swells 5 only to shrink again 
when the strike is over. This temporary member- 
ship consists mostly of foreign workmen who are 
recent immigrants. What may be termed the 
permanent membership is difficult to estimate. 
In 1913 there were about 14,000 members. In 1917 
the membership was estimated at 75,000. Though 
this is probably a maximum rather than an aver- 
age, nevertheless the members are mostly young 
men whose revolutionary ardor counterbalances 
their want in numbers. It is, moreover, an or- 
ganization that has a wide penumbra. It readily 
attracts the discontented, the unemployed, the 
man without a horizon. In an instant it can lay 


a fire and put an entire police force on the quivive. 
The organization has always been in financial 
straits. The source of its power is to be sought 
elsewhere. Financially bankrupt and numerically 
unstable, the I. W. W. relies upon the brazen 
cupidity of its stratagems and the habitual timor- 
ousness of society for its power. It is this self- 
seeking disregard of constituted authority that has 
given a handful of bold and crafty leaders such 
prominence in the recent literature of fear. And 
the members of this industrial Ku Klux Klan, these 
American Bolsheviki, assume to be the "conscious 
minority" which is to lead the ranks of labor into 
the Canaan of industrial bliss. 



IN a democracy it is possible for organized labor to 
extend its influence far beyond the confines of a 
mere trade policy. It can move the political mech- 
anism directly in proportion to its capacity to en- 
list public opinion. It is not surprising, therefore, 
to find that labor is eager to take part in politics 
or that labor parties were early organized. They 
were, however, doomed to failure, for no working- 
man's party can succeed, except in isolated locali- 
ties, without the cooperation of other social and 
political forces. Standing alone as a political entity, 
labor has met only rebuff and defeat at the hands 
of the American voter. 

The earlier attempts at direct political action 
were local. In Philadelphia a worknignian's par- 
ty was organized in 1828 as a result of the disap- 
pointment of the Mechanics' Union at its failure 
to achieve its ambitions by strikes. At a public 


meeting it was resolved to support only such candi- 
dates for the legislature and city council as would 
pledge themselves to the interests of "the working 
classes. " The city was organized, and a delegate 
convention was called which nominated a ticket of 
thirty candidates for city and county offices. But 
nineteen of these nominees were also on the Jack- 
son ticket, and ten on the Adams ticket; and both 
of these parties used the legend "Working Man's 
Ticket, " professing to favor a shorter working day. 
The isolated labor candidates received only from 
229 to 539 votes, while the Jackson party vote 
ranged from 3800 to 7000 and the Adams party 
vote from 2500 to 3800. So that labor's first excur- 
sion into politics revealed the eagerness of the 
older parties to win the labor vote, and the futility 
of relying on a separate organization, except for 
propaganda purposes. 

Preparatory to their next campaign, the working- 
men organized political clubs in all the wards of 
Philadelphia. In 1829 they nominated thirty-two 
candidates for local offices, of whoir nine received 
the endorsement of the Federalists and three that 
of the Democrats. The workingmen fared bet- 
ter in this election, polling nearly 2000 votes in 
the county and electing sixteen candidates. So 


encouraged were they by this success that they 
attempted to nominate a state ticket, but the domi- 
nant parties were too strong. In 1831 the work- 
ingmen's candidates, who were not endorsed by 
the older parties, received less than 400 votes in 
Philadelphia, After this year the party vanished. 
New York also early had an illuminating experi- 
ence in labor politics. In 1829 the workingmen 
of the city launched a political venture under the 
immediate leadership of an agitator by the name 
of Thomas Skidmore. Skidmore set forth his social 
panacea in a book whose elongated title betrays 
his secret: The Rights of Man to Property! Being 
a Proposition to Make it Equal among the Adults of 
the Prevent Generation; and to Provide for its Equal 
Transmission to Every Individual of Each Succeeding 
Generation, on Arriving at the Age of Maturity. 
The party manifesto began with the startling dec- 
laration that "all human society, our own as well 
as every other, is constructed radically wrong." 
The new party proposed to right this defect by an 
equal distribution of the land and by an elaborate 
system of public education. Associated with Skid- 
more were Robert Dale Owen and Frances Wright 
of the Free Enquirer,, a paper advocating all sorts 
of extreme social and economic doctrines. It was 


not strange, therefore, that the new party was at 
once connected, in the public mind, with all the 
erratic vagaries of these Apostles of Change. It 
was called the "Fanny Wright ticket" and the 
"Infidel Ticket." Every one forgot that it aimed 
to be the workingman's ticket. The movement, 
however, was supported by The Working Man's 
Advocate, a new journal that soon reached a 
wide influence. 

There now appeared an eccentric Quaker, Rus- 
sell Comstock by name, to center public attention 
still more upon the new party. As a candidate 
for the legislature, he professed an alarmingly ad- 
vanced position, for he believed that the State 
ought to establish free schools where handicrafts 
and morals, but not religion, should be taught; 
that husband and wife should be equals before the 
law; that a mechanics' lien and bankruptcy law 
should be passed; and that by wise graduations all 
laws for the collection of debts should be repealed. 
At a meeting held at the City Hall, for the further 
elucidation of his "pure Republicanism," he was 
greeted by a great throng but was arrested for 
disturbing the peace. He received less than one 
hundred and fifty votes, but his words went far to 
excite, on the one hand, the interest of the laboring 


classes in reform, and, on the other hand, the de- 
termination of the conservative classes to defeat 
*"a ticket got up openly and avowedly/ 5 as one 
newspaper said, "in opposition to all banks, in 
opposition to social order, in opposition to rights 
of property." 

Elections at this time lasted three days. On the 
first day there was genuine alarm at the large vote 
cast for "the Infidels." Thoughtful citizens were 
importuned to go to the polls, and on the second 
and third days they responded in sufficient num- 
bers to compass the defeat of the entire ticket, 
excepting only one candidate for the legislature. 

The Workingman's party contained too many 
zealots to hold together. After the election of I89 
& meeting was called to revise the party platform. 
The more conservative element prevailed and omit- 
ted the agrarian portions of the platform. Skid- 
more, who was present, attempted to protest, but 
his voice was drowned by the clamor of the audi- 
ence. He then started a party of his own, which he 
called the Original Workingman's party but which 
became known as the Agrarian party. The major- 
ity endeavored to rectify their position in the com- 
munity by an address to the people. "We take 
this opportunity/' they said, "to aver, whatever 


may be said to the contrary by ignorant or de- 
signing individuals or biased presses, that we have 
no desire or intention of disturbing the rights 
of property in individuals or the public." In the 
meantime Robert Dale Owen and Fanny Wright 
organized a party of their own, endorsing an ex- 
treme form of state paternalism over children. 
This State Guardianship Plan, as it was called, 
aimed to "regenerate America in a generation 55 
and to "make but one class out of the many that 
now envy and despise each other." 

There were, then, three workingmen's parties in 
New York, none of which, however, succeeded in 
gaining an influential position in state politics. 
After 1830 all these parties disappeared, but not 
without leaving a legacy of valuable experience. 
The Working Man's Advocate discovered political 
wisdom when it confessed that "whether these 
measures are carried by the formation of a new 
party, by the reform of an old one, or by the abol- 
ishment of party altogether, is of comparative 

In New England, the workingmen's political 
endeavors were joined with those of the farmers 
under the agency of the New England Association 
of Farmers, Mechanics, and Workingmen. This 


organization was initiated in 1830 by the working- 
men of Woodstock, Vermont, and their journal, the 
Working Man's Gazette, became a medium of agi- 
tation which affected all the New England man- 
ufacturing towns as well as many farming com- 
munities. u Woodstock meetings/' as they were 
called, were held everywhere and aroused both 
workingmen and farmers to form a new political 
party. The Springfield Republican summarized 
the demands of the new party thus: 

The avowed objects generally seem to be to abolish 
imprisonment for debt, the abolishment of litigation, 
and in lieu thereof the settlement of disputes by refer- 
ence to neighbors; to establish some more equal and 
universal system of public education; to diminish the 
.salaries and extravagance of public officers; to support 
no men for offices of public trust, but farmers, mechan- 
ics, and what the party call u working men"; and to 
elevate the character of this class by mental instruc- 
tion and mental improvement. . . . Much is said 
against the wealth and aristocracy of the land, their 
influence, and the undue influence of lawyers and other 
professional men. . . . The most of these objects 
appear very well on paper and we believe they are 
already sustained by the good sense of the people. . . . 
What is most ridiculous about this party is, that in 
many places where the greatest noise is made about it, 
the most indolent and most worthless persons, men of 
no trade or useful occupation have taken the lead. 


We cannot of course answer for the character for in- 
dustry of many places where this party is agitated: 
but we believe the great body of our own community, 
embracing every class and profession, may justly be 
called workingmen: nor do we believe enough can be 
found who are not such, to make even a decent party 
of drones. 

In the early thirties many towns and cities in 
Massachusetts, Vermont, Maine, Connecticut, 
and Rhode Island elected workingmen's candidates 
to local offices, usually with the help of small 
tradespeople. In 1833 and 1834 the workingmen 
of Massachusetts put a state ticket in the field 
which polled about 2000 votes, and in Boston a 
workingman's party was organized, but it did not 
gather much momentum and soon disappeared. 

These local and desultory attempts at forming a 
separate labor party failed as partisan movements. 
The labor leader proved an inefficient amateur 
when matched against the shrewd and experienced 
party manipulator; nor was there a sufficient class 
homogeneity to keep the labor vote together; and, 
even if it had so been united, there were not enough 
labor votes to make a majority. So the labor can- 
didate had to rely on the good will of other classes 
in order to win his election. And this support 
was not forthcoming. Americans have, thus far, 


always looked with suspicion upon a party that 
represented primarily the interests of only one 
class. This tendency shows a healthy instinct 
founded upon the fundamental conception of 
society as a great unity whose life and progress 
depend upon the freedom of all its diverse parts. 

It is not necessary to assume, as some observers 
have done, that these petty political excursions 
wrecked the labor movement of that day. It was 
perfectly natural that the laborer, when he awoke 
to the possibilities of organization and found him- 
self possessed of unlimited political rights, should 
seek a speedy salvation in the ballot box. He took, 
by impulse, the partisan shortcut and soon found 
himself lost in the slough of party intrigue. On 
the other hand, it should not be concluded that 
these intermittent attempts to form labor parties 
were without political significance. The politician 
is usually blind to every need except f he nml of his 
party; and the one permanent need of his parly is 
votes. A demand backed by reason will usually 
find him inert; a demand backed by voles gal- 
vanizes him into nervous attention. When, there- 
fore, it was apparent that there was a labor vote, 
even though a small one, the demands of this 
vote were not to be ignored, especially in States 


where the parties were well balanced and the 
scale was tipped by a few hundred votes. With- 
in a few decades after the political movement 
began, many States had passed Hen laws, had 
taken active measures to establish efficient free 
schools, had abolished imprisonment for debt, had 
made legislative inquiry into factory conditions^ 
and had recognized the ten-hour day. These had 
been the leading demands of organized labor, and 
they had been brought home to the public con- 
science, in part at least, by the influence of the 
workingmen's votes. 

It was not until after the Civil War that labor 
achieved sufficient national homogeneity to at- 
tempt seriously the formation of a national party. 
In the light of later events it is interesting to sketch 
briefly the development of the political power of 
the workingman. The National Labor Union at 
its congress of 1866 resolved "that, so far as po- 
litical action is concerned, each locality should be 
governed by its own policy, whether to run an in- 
dependent ticket of workingmen, or to use political 
parties already existing, but at all events to cast 
no vote except for men pledged to the interests of 
labor." The issue then seemed clear enough. But 
six years later the Labor Reform party struck out 


on an Independent course and held Its first and 
only national convention. Seventeen States were 
represented. * The Labor party, however, had yet 
to learn how hardly won are independence and 
unity in any political organization. Rumors of 
pernicious intermeddling by the Democratic and 
Republican politicians were afloat, and it was 
charged that the Pennsylvania delegates had come 
on passes issued by the president of the Pennsyl- 
vania Railroad. Judge David Davis of Illinois, 
then a member of the United States Supreme Court, 
was nominated for President and Governor Joel 
Parker of New Jersey for Vice-President. Both 
declined, however, and Charles (TConor of New 
York, the candidate of "the Straight-Out Demo- 
crats," was named for President, but no nomina- 
tion was made for Vice-President. Considering 
the subsequent phenomenal growth of the labor 
vote, it is worth noting in passing that O'Conor 
received only 29,489 votes and that these em- 
braced both the labor and the so-called "straight " 
Democratic strength. 

For some years the political labor movement 

1 It is interesting to note that in this first National Labor Party 
Convention a motion favoring government ownership and the 
referendum was voted down. 


lost its independent character and was absorbed 
by the Greenback party which offered a meeting- 
ground for discontented farmers and restless work- 
ingmen. In 1876 the party nominated for Presi- 
dent the venerable Peter Cooper, who received 
about eighty thousand votes most of them prob- 
ably cast by farmers. During this time the leaders 
of the labor movement were serving a political ap- 
prenticeship and were learning the value of co- 
operation. On February 22, 1878, a conference 
held at Toledo, Ohio, including eight hundred 
delegates from twenty-eight States, perfected an 
alliance between the Labor Reform and Greenback 
parties and invited all "patriotic citizens to unite 
in an effort to secure financial reform and industrial 
emancipation." Financial reform meant the adop- 
tion of the well-known greenback free silver policy. 
Industrial emancipation involved the enactment 
of an eight-hour law; the inspection of workshops, 
factories, and mines; the regulation of interstate 
commerce; a graduated federal income tax; the 
prohibition of the importation of alien contract 
labor; the forfeiture of the unused portion of the 
princely land grants to railroads; and the direct 
participation of the people in government. These 
fundamental issues were included in the demands 


of subsequent labor and populist parties, and some 
of them were bequeathed lo the Progressive party 
of a later date. The convention was thus a fore- 
runner of genuine reform, for its demands were 
based upon industrial needs. For the moment it 
made a wide popular appeal. In the stale elections 
of 1878 about a million votes were polled by the 
party candidates. The bulk of these were fanners' 
votes cast in the Middle and Far West, though in 
the East, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, New York, 
Maine, and New Jersey cast a considerable vote 
for the party. 

With high expectations the new party entered 
the campaign of 1880. It had over a dozen mem- 
bers in Congress, active organizations in nearly 
every State, and ten thousand local clubs. General 
James B. Weaver, the presidential nominee of the 
party, was the first candidate to make extensive 
campaign journeys into distant sections of the 
country. His energetic canvass netted him only 
308,578 votes, most of which came from the West. 
The party was distinctly a farmers' party. In 
1884, it nominated the lurid Ben Butler who had 
been, according to report, "ejected from the Demo- 
cratic party and booted out of the Republican/' 
His demagogic appeals, however, brought him not 


much more than half as many votes as the party 
received at the preceding election, and helped to 
end the political career of the Greenbackers. 

With the power of the farmers on the wane, the 
balance began to shift. There now followed a num- 
ber of attempts to organize labor in the Union 
Labor party, the United Labor party, the Pro- 
gressive Labor party, the American Reform party, 
and the Tax Reformers. There were still numerous 
farmers' organizations such as the Farmers' Al- 
liance, the Anti-Monopolists, the Homesteaders, 
and others, but they were no longer the dominant 
force. Under the stimulus of the labor unions, 
delegates representing the Knights of Labor, the 
Grangers, the Anti-Monopolists, and other farm- 
ers' organizations, met in Cincinnati on February 
22, 1887, and organized the National Union Labor 
party. l The following May the party held its only 
nominating convention. Alson J. Streeter of Illi- 
nois was named for President and Samuel Evans of 
Texas for Vice-President. The platform of the 
party was based upon the prevalent economic and 
political discontent. Farmers were overmortgaged, 
laborers were underpaid, and the poor were growing 
poorer, while the rich were daily growing richer. 

1 McKec, National Conventions and Platforms, p. 251. 


"The paramount issues/ 3 the new party declared, 
"are the abolition of usury, monopoly, and trusts* 
and we denounce the Republican and Democrat- 
ic parties for creating and perpetuating these mon- 
strous evils." 

In the meantime Henry George, whose Progress 
and Poverty had made a profound impression upon 
public thought, had become in 1886 a candidate for 
mayor of New York City, and polled the phenome- 
nal total of 68,110 votes, while Theodore Roose- 
velt, the Republican candidate, received (HK4S5, 
and Abram S. Hewitt,, the successful Democratic 
candidate, polled 90,552. The evidence of popular 
support which attended Henry George's brief po- 
litical career was the prelude to a national effort 
which culminated in the formation of I he United 
Labor party. Its platform was similar lo that of 
the Union party, except that the single lax now 
made its appearance. This method contemplated 
the "taxation of land according to its value and 
not according to its area, to devote- to common use 
and benefit those values which arise, not from the 
exertion of the individual, but, from the growth of 
society," and the abolition of all taxes on industry 
and its products. But it was apparent, from the 
similarity of their platforms and the geographical 


distribution of their candidates that the two labor 
parties were competing for the same vote. At a 
conference held in Chicago to effect a union, how- 
ever, the Union Labor party insisted on the com- 
plete effacement of the other ticket and the single 
taxers refused to submit. In the election which 
followed, the Union Labor party received about 
147,000 votes, largely from the South and West 
and evidently the old Greenback vote, while the 
United party polled almost no votes outside of 
Illinois and New York. Neither party survived 
the result of this election. 

In December, 1889, committees representing 
the Knights of Labor and the Farmers' Alliance 
met in St. Louis to come to some agreement on 
political policies. Owing to the single tax predilec- 
tion of the Knights, the two organizations were 
unable to enter into a close union, but they never- 
theless did agree that "the legislative committees 
of both organizations [would] act in concert before 
Congress for the purpose of securing the enactment 
of laws in harmony with their demands." This 
cooperation was a forerunner of the People's party 
or, as it was commonly called, the Populist party, 
the largest third party that had taken the field 
since the Civil War. Throughout the West and the 


South political conditions now were feverish. Old 
party majorities were overturned, and a new type 
of Congressman invaded Washington. When the 
first national convention of the People's party me I 
in Omaha on July 2, 1892, the outlook was bright, 
General Weaver was nominated for President and 
James G. Field of Virginia for Vice-President, 
The platform rehabilitated Greenbackism in co- 
gent phrases, demanded government control of 
railroads and telegraph and telephone systems, the 
reclamation of land held by corporations, an in< 
come tax, the free coinage of silver and gold "at 
the present legal ratio of sixteen to one," and postal 
savings banks. In a series of resolutions which 
were not a part of the platform but were neverthe- 
less "expressive of the sentiment of this conven- 
tion, " the party declared itself in sympathy "with 
the efforts of organized workingmcn to shorten the 
hours of labor"; it condemned "the fallacy of pro- 
tecting American labor under the present system, 
which opens our ports to the pauper and criminal 
classes of the world and crowds out our wage- 
earners"; and it opposed the Pinkerton system of 
capitalistic espionage as "a menace to our liber- 
ties." The party formally declared itself to be a 
"union of the labor forces of the United States, 5 * 


for "the Interests of rural and city labor are the 
same; their enemies identical. 55 

These national movements prior to 1896 are 
not, however, an adequate index of the political 
strength of labor in partisan endeavor. Organized 
labor was more of a power in local and state elec- 
tions, perhaps because in these cases its pressure 
was more direct, perhaps because it was unable to 
cope with the great national organization of the 
older parties. During these years of effort to gain 
a footing in the Federal Government, there are 
numerous examples of the success of the labor 
party in state elections. As early as 1872 the labor 
reformers nominated state tickets in Pennsylvania 
and Connecticut. In 1875 they nominated Wen- 
dell Phillips for Governor of Massachusetts. In 
1878, in coalition with the Greenbackers, they 
elected many state officers throughout the West. 
Ten years later, when the Union Labor party was 
at its height, labor candidates were successful in 
several municipalities. In 1888 labor tickets were 
nominated in many Western States, including 
Colorado, Indiana, Kansas, Minnesota, Michigan, 
Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Of these 
Kansas cast the largest labor vote, with nearly 
36,000, and Missouri came next with 15,400. In 


the East, however, the showing of the party in state 
elections was far less impressive. 

In California the political labor movement 
achieved a singular prominence. In 1877 the labor 
situation in San Francisco became acute because of 
the prevalence of unemployment. Grumblings of 
dissatisfaction soon gave way to parades and infor- 
mal meetings at which imported Chinese labor and 
the rich "nobs, " the supposed dual cause of all the 
trouble, were denounced in lurid language. The 
agitation, however, was formless until the necessary 
leader appeared in Dennis Kearney, a native of 
Cork County, Ireland. For fourteen years he had 
been a sailor, had risen rapidly to first officer of a 
clipper ship, and then had settled in San Francisco 
as a drayman. He was temperate and industrious 
in his personal life, and possessed a clear eye, a 
penetrating voice, the vocabulary of one versed 
in the crude socialistic pamphlets of his day, and, 
in spite of certain domineering habits bred in the 
sailor, the winning graces of his nationality. 

Kearney appeared at meetings on the vacant lots 
known as the "sand lots," in front of the City Hall 
of San Francisco, and advised the discontented 
ones to " wrest the government from the hands of 
the rich and place it in those of the people/' On 


September 12, 1877, lie rallied a group of unem- 
ployed around him and organized the Working- 
man's Trade and Labor Union of San Francisco. 
On the 5th of October, at a great public meeting, 
the Workingman's party of California was formed 
and Kearney was elected president. The platform 
adopted by the party proposed to place the govern- 
ment in the hands of the people, to get rid of the 
Chinese, to destroy the money power, to "provide 
decently for the poor and unfortunate, the weak 
and the helpless," and "to elect none but com- 
petent workingmen and their friends to any office 
whatever. . . . When we have 10,000 members 
we shall have the sympathy and support of 20,000 
other workingmen. This party," concluded the 
pronouncement, "will exhaust all peaceable means 
of attaining its ends, but it will not be denied jus- 
tice, when it has the power to enforce it. It will 
encourage no riot or outrage, but it will not volun- 
teer to repress or put down or arrest or prosecute 
the hungry and impatient, who manifest their ha- 
tred of the "Chinamen by a crusade against 'John/ 
or those who employ him. Let those who raise 
the storm by their selfishness, suppress it them- 
selves. If they dare raise the devil, let them 
meet him face to face. We will not help them." 


In advocating these views, Kearney held meeting 
after meeting, each rhetorically more violent than 
the last, until on the 3d of November he was ar- 
rested. This martyrdom in the cause of labor 
increased his power, and when he was released 
he was drawn by his followers in triumph through 
the streets on one of his own drays. His lan- 
guage became more and more extreme. He blud- 
geoned the "thieving politicians" and the "blood- 
sucking capitalists," and he advocated "judicious 
hanging" and "discretionary shooting." The City 
Council passed an ordinance intended to gag him; 
the legislature enacted an extremely harsh riot 
act; a body of volunteers patrolled the streets of 
the city; a committee of safety was organized. On 
January 5, 1878, Kearney and a number of as- 
sociates were indicted, arrested, and released on 
bail. When the trial jury acquitted Kearney, what 
may be called the terrorism of the movement at- 
tained its height, but it fortunately spent itself in 
violent adjectives. 

The Workingman's party, however, elected a 
workingman mayor of San Francisco, joined forces 
with the Grangers, and elected a majority of the 
members of the state constitutional convention 
which met in Sacramento on September 28 ? 1878* 


This was a notable triumph for a third party. The 
framing of a new constitution gave this coalition of 
farmers and workingmen an unusual opportunity 
to assail the evils which they declared infested the 
State. The instrument which they drafted bound 
the stale legislature with numerous restrictions and 
made lobbying a felony; it reorganized the courts, 
placed innumerable limitations upon corporations, 
forbade the loaning of the credit or property of the 
State to corporations, and placed a state commis- 
sion in charge of the railroads, which had been per- 
niciously active in state politics. Alas for these 
visions of reform ! A few years after the adoption 
of this new constitution by California, Hubert H. 
Bancroft wrote: 

Those objects which it particularly aimed at, it failed 
to achieve. The effect upon corporations disappointed 
Its authors and supporters. Many of them were strong 
enough still to defy state power and evade state laws, 
in protecting their interests, and this they did without 
scruple. The relation of capital and labor is even, 
more strained than before the constitution was adopt- 
ed. Capital soon recovered from a temporary intimi- 
dation. . . . Labor still uneasy was still subject to 
the inexorable law of supply and demand. Legis- 
latures were still to be approached by agents. . . . 
Chinese were still employed in digging and grad- 
ing. The state board of railroad Commissioners was a 

1 6 


useless expense, . . . being as wax in the hands of the 
companies it was set to watch. r 

After the collapse of the Populist party, there is 
to be discerned in labor politics a new departure, 
due primarily to the attitude of the American Fed- 
eration of Labor in partisan matters, and second- 
arily to the rise of political socialism. A social- 
istic party deriving its support almost wholly from 
foreign-born workmen had appeared in a, few of the 
large cities in 1877, but it was not until 1892 that a 
national party was organized, and not until alter 
the collapse of Populism that it assumed some 
political importance. 

In August, 1892, a, Socialist-Labor convention 
which was held in New York City nominal ed 
candidates for President and Vice-President and 
adopted a platform that contained, besides the 
familiar economic demands of socialism, the rath- 
er unusual suggestion that the Presidency, Vice- 
Presidency, and Senate of the United States be 
abolished and that an executive board be estab- 
lished a whose members are to be elected, and 
may at any time be recalled, by the House of 
Representatives, as the only legislative* body, the 
States and municipalities to adopt corresponding 

15 Works (voL xxiv): History of California, vol. vn, p. 404. 


amendments to their constitutions and statutes." 
Under the title of the Socialist-Labor party, this 
ticket polled 1,532 votes in 1892, and in 1896, 
36,373 votes. 

In 1897 the inevitable split occurred in the Social- 
ist ranks. Eugene V. Debs, the radical labor leader, 
who, as president of the American Railway Union, 
had directed the Pullman strike and had become a 
martyr to the radical cause through his imprison- 
ment for violating the orders of a Federal Court, 
organized the Social-Democratic party. In 1900 
Debs was nominated for President, and Job Harri- 
man, representing the older wing, for Vice-Presi- 
dent. The ticket polled 94,864 votes. The Social- 
ist-Labor party nominated a ticket of their own 
which received only 33,432 votes. Eventually this 
party shrank to a mere remnant, while the Social 
Democratic party became generally known as the 
Socialist party. Debs became their candidate in 
three successive elections. In 1904 and 1908 his 
vote hovered around 400,000. In 1910 congres- 
sional and local elections spurred the Socialists 
to hope for a million votes in 1912 but they 
fell somewhat short of this mark. Debs re- 
ceived 901,873 votes, the largest number which a 
Socialist candidate has ever yet received. Benson, 


the presidential candidate in 1916, received 590,- 
579 votes. 1 

In the meantime, the influence of the Socialist 
labor vote in particular localities vastly increased. 
In 1910 Milwaukee elected a Socialist mayor by a 
plurality of seven thousand, sent Victor Berger to 
Washington as the first Socialist Congressman, and 
elected labor-union members as five of the twelve 
Socialist councilmen, thus revealing the sympathy 
of the working class for the cause. On January 1, 
1912, over three hundred towns and cities had one 
or more Socialist officers. The estimated Socialist 
vote of these localities was 1,500,000. The 1039 
Socialist officers included 56 mayors, 205 aldermen 
and councilmen, and 148 school officers. This was 
not a sectional vote but represented New England 
and the far West, the oldest commonwealths and 
the newest, the North and the South, and cities filled 
with foreign workingmen as well as staid towns 
controlled by retired farmers and shopkeepers. 

When the United States entered the Great War, 
the Socialist party became a reservoir for all the 
unsavory disloyalties loosened by the shock of the 

1 The Socialist vote is stated differently by McJvee, National 
Conventions and Platforms. The above figures, to 1912, are taken 
from Stanwood's History of the Presidency, and for 1012 and 1916 
from the World Almanac, 


great conflict. Pacifists and pro-Germans found a 
common refuge under its red banner. In the New 
York mayoralty elections in 1917 these Socialists 
cast nearly one-fourth of the votes, and in the Wis- 
consin senatorial election in 1918 Victor Berger, 
their standard-bearer, swept Milwaukee, carried 
seven counties, and polled over one hundred thou- 
sand votes. On the other hand, a large number of 
American Socialists, under the leadership of Wil- 
liam English Walling and John Spargo, vigorously 
espoused the national cause and subordinated their 
economic and political theories to their loyalty. 

The Socialists have repeatedly attempted to 
make official inroads upon organized labor. They 
have the sympathy of the I. W. W., the remnant of 
the Knights of Labor, and the more radical trades 
unions, but from the American Federation of La- 
bor they have met only rebuff. A number of state 
federations, especially in the Middle West, not a 
few city centrals, and some sixteen national unions, 
have officially approved of the Socialist programme, 
but the Federation has consistently refused such 
an endorsement. 

The political tactics assumed by the Federation 
discountenance a distinct labor party movement,, 
as long as the old parties are willing to subserve the 


ends of the unions. This self-restraint does not 
mean that the Federation is not " in politics." On 
the contrary, it is constantly vigilant and aggres- 
sive and it engages every year in political maneu- 
vers without, however, having a partisan organi- 
zation of its own. At its annual conventions it has 
time and again urged local and state branches to 
scrutinize the records of legislative candidates and 
to see that only friends of union labor receive the 
union laborer's ballot. In 1897 it "firmly and un- 
equivocally" favored "the independent use of the 
ballot by trade unionists and workmen united re 
gardless of party, that we may elect men from our 
own ranks to write new laws and administer them 
along lines laid down in the legislative demands of 
the American Federation of Labor and at the same 
time secure an impartial judiciary that will not 
govern us by arbitrary injunctions of the courts? 
nor act as the pliant tool of corporate wealth." 
And in 1906 it determined, first, to defeat all candi- 
dates who are either hostile or indifferent to labor's 
demands; second, if neither party names such can- 
didates, then to make independent labor nomina- 
tions; third, in every instance to support "the 
men who have shown themselves to bo friendly 
to labor." 


With great astuteness, perseverance, and alert- 
ness, the Federation has pursued this method to its 
uttermost possibilities. In Washington it has met 
with singular success, reaching a high-water mark 
in the first Wilson Administration, with the pas- 
sage of the Clayton bill and the eight-hour railroad 
bill. After this action, a great New York daily 
lamented that " Congress is a subordinate branch 
of the American Federation of Labor. . . . The 
unsleeping watchmen of organized labor know how 
intrepid most Congressmen are when threatened 
with the fc labor vote. ' The American laborites don't 
have to send men to Congress as their British 
brethren do to the House of Commons. From the 
galleries they watch the proceedings. They are 
mighty in committee rooms. They reason with the 
recalcitrant. They fight opponents in their Congress 
districts. There are no abler or more potent poli- 
ticians than the labor leaders out of Congress. Why 
should rulers like Mr. Gompers and Mr. Furuseth 1 
go to Congress? They are a Super-Congress. " 

Many Congressmen have felt the retaliatory 
power of the Federation. Even such powerful 
leaders as Congressman Littlefield of Maine and 

1 Andrew Furuseth, the president of the Seamen's Union and 
reputed author of the Seaman's Act of 1915. 


Speaker Cannon were compelled to exert their ut 
most to overcome union opposition . The Federa- 
tion has been active in seating union men in Con- 
gress. In 1908 there were six union members in 
the House; in 1910 there were ten; in 1912 there 
were seventeen. The Secretary of Labor himself 
holds a union card. Nor has the Federation shrunk 
from active participation in the presidential lists. 
It bitterly opposed President Roosevelt when he 
espoused the open shop in the Government Print- 
ing Office; and in 1908 it openly espoused the 
Democratic ticket. 

In thus maintaining a sort of grand partisan 
neutrality, the Federation not only holds in numer- 
ous instances the balance of power but it makes 
party fealty its slave and avoids the costly luxury 
of maintaining a separate national organization 
of its own. The all-seeing lobby which it maintains 
at Washington is a prototype of what one may dis- 
cern in most state capitals when the legislature is 
in session. The legislative programmes adopted by 
the various state labor bodies are metamorphosed 
into demands, and well organized committees are 
present to cooperate with the labor members 
who sit in the legislature. The unions, through 
their steering committee, select with caution the 


members who are to introduce the labor bills and 
watch paternally over every stage In the progress 
of a measure. 

Most of this legislative output has been strictly 
protective of union interests. Labor, like all other 
interests that aim to use the power of government, 
has not been wholly altruistic in its motives, es- 
pecially since in recent years it has found itself 
matched against such powerful organizations of 
employers as the Manufacturers' Association, the 
National Erectors' Association, and the Metal 
Trades Association. In fact, in nearly every im- 
portant industry the employers have organized for 
defensive and offensive purposes. These organi- 
zations match committee with committee, lobby 
with lobby, add espionage to open warfare, and 
issue effective literature in behalf of their open 
shop propaganda. 

The voluminous labor codes of such great manu- 
facturing communities as Massachusetts, New 
York, Pennsylvania, and Illinois, reflect a new and 
enlarged conception of the modern State. Labor 
has generally favored measures that extend the 
inquisitional and regulative functions of the State, 
excepting where this extension seemed to interfere 
with the autonomy of labor itself. Workshops, 


mines, factories, and other places of employment 
are now minutely inspected, and innumerable sani- 
tary and safety provisions are enforced. A work- 
man's compensation law removes from the em- 
ployee's mind his anxiety for the fate of his family 
if he should be disabled. The labor contract, long 
extolled as the segis of economic liberty, is no longer 
free from state vigilance. The time and method 
of paying wages are ordered by the State, and in 
certain industries the hours of labor are fixed by 
law. Women and children are the special proteges 
of this new State, and great care is taken that they 
shall be engaged only in employment suitable to 
their strength and under an environment that will 
not ruin their health. 

The growing social control of the individual is 
significant, for it is not only the immediate condi- 
tions of labor that have come under public sur- 
veillance. Where and how the workman lives is no 
longer a matter of indifference to the public, nor 
what sort of schooling his children get, what games 
they play, and what motion pictures they see. The 
city, in cooperation with the State, now provides 
nurses, dentists, oculists, and surgeons, as well as 
teachers for the children. This local paternalism 
increases yearly in its solicitude and receives the 


eager sanction of the labor members of city councils. 
The State has also set up elaborate machinery for 
observing all phases of the labor situation and for 
gathering statistics and other information that 
should be helpful in framing labor laws, and has 
also established state employment agencies and 
boards of conciliation and arbitration. 

This machinery of mediation is significant not 
because of what it has already accomplished but as 
evidence of the realization on the part of the State 
that labor disputes are not merely the concern of 
the two parties to the labor contract. Society has 
finally come to realize that, in the complex of the 
modern State, it also is vitally concerned, and, in 
despair at thousands of strikes every year, with 
their wastage and their aftermath of bitterness, 
it has attempted to interpose its good offices 
as mediator. 

The modern labor laws cannot be credited, how- 
ever, to labor activity alone. The new social at- 
mosphere has provided a congenial milieu for this 
vast extension of state functions. The philan- 
thropist, the statistician, and the sociologist have 
become potent allies of the labor-legislator; and 
such non-labor organizations, as the American 
Association for Labor Legislation, have added 


their momentum to the movement. New ideals 
of social cooperation have been established, and 
new conceptions of the responsibilities of private 
ownership have been evolved. 

While labor organizations have succeeded rather 
readily in bending the legislative power to their 
wishes, the military arm of the executive and the 
judiciary which ultimately enforce the command of 
the State have been beyond their reach. To bend 
these branches of the government to its will, or- 
ganized labor has fought a persistent and aggres- 
sive warfare. Decisions of the courts which do not 
sustain union contentions are received with great 
disfavor. The open shop decisions of the United 
States Supreme Court are characterized as unfair 
and partisan and are vigorously opposed in all the 
labor journals. It is not, however, until the sanc- 
tion of public opinion eventually backs the attitude 
of the unions that the laws and their interpretation 
can conform entirely to the desires of labor. 

The chief grievance of organized labor against 
the courts is their use of the injunction to prevent 
boycotts and strikes. "Government by injunc- 
tion" is the complaint of the unions and it is based 
upon the common, even reckless, use of a writ 
which was in origin and intent a high and rarely 


used prerogative of the Court of Chancery. What 
was in early times a powerful weapon in the hands 
of the Crown against riotous assemblies and threat- 
ened lawlessness was invoked in 1868 by an English 
court as a remedy against industrial disturbances. 1 
Since the Civil War the American courts in rap- 
Idly increasing numbers have used this weapon, 
and the Damascus blade of equity has been trans- 
formed into a bludgeon in the hands even of 
magistrates of inferior courts. 

The prime objection which labor urges against 
this use of the injunction is that it deprives the de- 
fendant of a jury trial when his liberty is at stake. 
The unions have always insisted that the law 
should be so modified that this right would accom- 
pany all injunctions growing out of labor disputes. 
Such a denatured injunction, however, would de- 
feat the purpose of the writ; but the union leader 
maintains, on the other hand, that he is placed un- 
fairly at a disadvantage, when an employer can 
command for his own aid in an industrial dispute 
the swift and sure arm of a law originally intended 
for a very different purpose. The imprisonment of 
Debs during the Pullman strike for disobeying a 
Federal injunction brought the issue vividly before 

1 Springfield Spinning Company vs. Riley, L. R. 6 Eq. 551. 


the public; and the sentencing of Gompers, Mitch- 
ell, and Morrison to prison terms for violating 
the Buck's Stove injunction produced new waves 
of popular protest. Occasional dissenting opinions 
by judges and the gradual conviction of lawyers 
and of society that some other tribunal than a 
court of equity or even a court of law would be 
more suitable for the settling of labor disputes is 
indicative of the change ultimately to be wrought 
in practice. 

The unions are also violently opposed to the use 
of military power by the State during strikes. Not 
only can the militia be called out to enforce the 
mandates of the State but whenever Federal inter- 
ference is justified the United States troops may 
be sent to the scene of turmoil. After the period 
of great labor troubles culminating in the Pullman 
strike, many States reorganized their militia into 
national guards. The armories built for the ac- 
commodation of the guard were called by the 
unions ''plutocracy's bastiles," and the mounted 
State constabulary organized in 1906 by Pennsyl- 
vania were at once dubbed "American Cossacks." 
Several States following the example of Pennsyl- 
vania have encountered the bitterest hostility on 
the part of the labor unions. Already opposition 


to the militia has proceeded so far that some un- 
ions have forbidden their members to perform mili- 
tia service when called to do strike duty, and the 
military readjustments involved in the Great War 
have profoundly affected the relation of the State 
to organized labor. Following the signing of the 
armistice, a movement for the organization of an 
American Labor party patterned after the British 
Labour party gained rapid momentum, especially 
in New York and Chicago. A platform of fourteen 
points was formulated at a general conference of 
the leaders, and provisional organizations were per- 
fected in a number of cities. What power this 
latest attempt to enlist labor in partisan politics 
will assume is problematical. It is obviously in- 
spired by European experiences and promulgated 
by socialistic propaganda. It has not succeeded in 
invading the American Federation of Labor, which 
did not formally endorse the movement at its An- 
nual Convention in 1919. Gompers, in an inti- 
mate and moving speech, told a group of labor lead- 
ers gathered in New York on December 9, 1918, 
that "the organization of a political party would 
simply mean the dividing of the activities and al- 
legiance of the men and women of labor between 
two bodies, such as would often come in conflict." 


Under present conditions, it would appear that no 
Labor party could succeed in theUnited States with- 
out the cooperation of the American Federation 
of Labor, 

The relation between the American Federation 
of Labor and the socialistic and political labor 
movements, as well as the monopolistic eagerness 
of the socialists to absorb these activities, is clearly 
indicated in Gompers's narrative of his experiences 
as an American labor representative at the Lon- 
don Conference of 1918. The following paragraphs 
are significant: 

When the Inter-Allied Labor Conference opened in 
London, on September 17th, early in the morning, 
there were sent over to my room at the hotel cards 
which were intended to be the credential cards for our 
delegation to sign and hand in as our credentials. The 
card read something like this: "The undersigned is 
a duly accredited delegate to the Inter- Allied Socialist 
Conference to be held at London," etc., and giving 
the dates. 

I refused to sign my name, or permit my name to be 
put upon any card of that character. My associates 
were as indignant as I was and refused to sign any such 
credential. We went to the hall where the conference 
was to be held. There was a young lady at the door. 
When we made an effort to enter she asked for our 
cards. We said we had no cards to present. " W 7 ell, " 


the answer came, "you cannot be admitted." We 
replied, "That may be true we cannot be admitted 
but we will not sign any such card. We have our 
credentials written out, signed, and sealed and will 
present them to any committee of the conference for 
scrutiny and recommendation, but we are not going to 
sign such a card." 

Mr. Charles Bowerman, Secretary of the Parlia- 
mentary Committee of the British Trade Union Con- 
gress, at that moment emerged from the door. He 
asked why we had not entered. I told him the situa- 
tion, and he persuaded the young lady to permit us to 
pass in. We entered the hall and presented our cre- 
dentials. Mr. James Sexton, officer and representa- 
tive of the Docker's Union of Liverpool, arose and 
called the attention of the Conference to this situa- 
tion, and declared that the American Federation of 
Labor delegates refused to sign any such document. 
He said it was not an Inter-Allied Socialist Con- 
ference, but an Inter-Allied Socialist and Labor 

Mr. Arthur Henderson, of the Labor Party, made an 
explanation something to this effect, if my memory 
serves me: "It is really regrettable that such an error 
should have been made. It was due to the fact 
that the old card of credentials which has been used 
in former conferences was sent to the printer, no 
one paying any attention to it, thinking it was all 

I want to call your attention to the significance of 
that explanation, that is, that the trade union move- 
ment of Great Britain was represented at these former 
conferences, but at this conference the importance of 


Labor was regarded as so insignificant that everybody 
took it for granted that it was perfectly all right to 
have the credential card read "Inter- Allied Social- 
ist Conference" and with the omission of this more 
important term, " Labor." 1 

As one looks back upon the history of the work- 
ingman, one finds something impressive, even 
majestic, in the rise of the fourth estate from a 
humble place to one of power in this democratic 
nation. In this rise of fortune the laborer's union 
has unquestionably been a moving force, perhaps 
even the leading cause. At least this homogeneous 
mass of workingmen, guided by self-developed 
leadership, has aroused society to safeguard more 
carefully the individual needs of all its parts. La- 
bor has awakened the state to a sense of respon- 
sibility for its great sins of neglect and has made 
it conscious of its social duties. Labor, like other 
elements of society, has often been selfish, narrow, 
vindictive; but it has also shown itself earnest and 
constructive. The conservative trades union, at 
the hour of this writing, stands as a bulwark be- 
tween that amorphous, inefficient, irresponsible 
Socialism which has made Russia a lurid warning 
and Prussia a word of scorn, and that rational 

1 American Federationist, January, 1919, pp. 40-41. 


social ideal which is founded upon the conviction 
that society, is ultimately an organic spiritual unity, 
the blending of a thousand diverse interests whose 
justly combined labors and harmonized talents 
create civilization and develop culture. 


WHILE there is a vast amount of writing on the labor 
problem, there are very few works on the history of 
labor organizations in the United States. The main 
reliance for the earlier period, in the foregoing pages, 
has been the Documentary History of American Indus- 
trial Society, edited by John R. Commons, 10 vok 
(1910). The History of Labour in the United States, % 
vols. (1918), which he published with associates, is the 
most convenient and complete compilation that has 
yet appeared and contains a large mass of historical 
material on the labor question. 

The following works are devoted to discussions of 
various phases of the history of American labor and 

T. S. Adams and Helen L. Sumner, Labor Problems 
(1905). Contains several refreshing chapters on labor 

F. T. Cartoon, The History and Problem of Organized 
Labor (1911). A succinct discussion of union problems. 

R. T. Ely, The Labor Movement in America (1886). 
Though one of the earliest American works on the 
subject, it remains indispensable. 

ft. G. Groat, An Introduction to the Study of Organ- 
ized Labor in America (1916) . A useful and up-to-date 



R. F. Hoxie, Trade Unionism in the United State 
(1917). A suggestive study of the philosophy of 

J. R. Commons (Ed.)? Trade Unionism and Labor 
Problems (1905). 

J. H. Hollander and G. E. Barnett (Eds.), Studies in 
American Trade Unionism (1905). These two volumes 
are collections of contemporary studies of many phases 
of organized labor by numerous scholars. They are 
not historical. 

The Report of the Industrial Commission, vol. xvn 
(1901) provides the most complete analysis of trade- 
onion policies and also contains valuable historical 
summaries of many unions. 

G. E. McNeill (Ed.), The Labor Movement: the Prob- 
lem of Today (189$). This collection contains histori- 
cal sketches of the organizations of the greater labor 
groups and of the development of the more important 
issues espoused by them. For many years it was the 
most comprehensive historical work on American union- 
ism, and it remains a necessary source of information 
to the student of trades union history. 

J. G. Brissenden, The Launching of the Industrial 
Workers of the World (1913). An account of the origin 
of the I. W. W. 

J. G. Brooks, American Syndicalism; the /. W. W. 

John Mitchell, Organized Labor (1903). A sugges- 
tive exposition of the principles of Unionism by a dis- 
tinguished labor leader. It contains only a limited 
amount of historical matter. 

T. V. Powderly, Thirty Years of Labor (1889.) A his- 
tory of the Knights of Labor from a personal viewpoint. 


E. L. Bogart, The Economic History of the United 
States (rev. ed., 1918). A concise and clear account 
of our economic development. 

R. T. Ely, Evolution of Industrial Society (1903). 

Carroll D. Wright, The Industrial Evolution of the 
United States (1895). 

G. S. Callender, Selections from the Economic History 
of the United States (1909). A collection of readings. 
The brief introductory essays to each chapter give a 
succinct account of American Industrial development 
to 1860. 


Aberdeen (S. D.), I. W. W. in, 
21 si 

Adamson Law (eight-hour 
railroad law), 133 (note), 
100, 164-6(1,247 

Agrarian party, 224 

Akron (0.), strike in rubber 
works, 206-07 

Albany, trade unions in, 34 

Albany Mechanical Society 
(1801), 22 

Allegheny City, ten-hour con- 
troversy in cotton mills, 54 

Amalgamated Association of 
Iron and Steel Workers, 120 

Amalgamated Labor Union, 88 

Amalgamated Wood Workers' 
Association, 109 

A in boy (111,), Conductors' 
Union organized (1868), 150 

American Alliance for Labor 
and Democracy, 101-02 

American Association for 
Labor Legislation, 51 

"American Cossacks," 254 

American Federation of Labor, 
suggested at Tcrre Haute 
(1881), 88; established 
(188<)) t 80; growth, 89-00; 
organization, 00-93, 112; 
Gompcrs and, J)4 ct scq.; 
financial policy, 1)7; and 
Great War, 100 ct sty.; and 
labor readjustment, 107; at- 
lil udc toward Socialism, 108, 
111, 245, 56; tendency to- 
ward amalgamating allied 
trades, 1C9-10; and un- 

skilled labor, 100; impor- 
tance, 110-11; Mitchell and, 
128; and Brotherhood of 
Locomotive Engineers, 133 
(note); and Buck's Stove 
and Range Company boy- 
cott, 181; and Danbury 
Hatters' case, 184; and 
I. W. W., 194; and Lawrence 
mill workers, 03; and poli- 
tics, 242, 245-46, 25G; in- 
fluences legislation, 46-52; 
and American Labor party 
movement, 255-56 

American Fcderationisf t organ 
of American Federation of 
Labor, 92, 181, 195 

American Labor party, move- 
ment for forming, 255 

American Newspaper Pub- 
lishers Association, 169 

American Railway Union, and 
strikes, 158, 159; Debs presi- 
dent of, 43 

Anthracite Coal Strike (1902), 
113, 129-30, 174; Commis- 
sion cross-examines Mitchell, 
130 (note) 

Anti-Boycott Association, 180 

Anti-Monopolist party, 233 

Arbitration, 85-86 ; law provid- 
ing for settlement of railway 
disputes (1888), 85; in An- 
thracite Coal Strike, 129-30; 
Board to deal with railway 
problems (1912), 146-50; 
Erdman Act (1898), 146, 
162; Federal legislation 



Arbitration Continued 
(1883), 161-62; Newlands 
Law (1913), 162; Brother- 
hoods refuse (1916), 163-64 

Arizona, "hobo" labor in, 100 

Arkwright, Sir Richard, in- 
vents roller spinning 
machine, 7 

Arnold, F. W., 154 

Arthur, P. M., 141-43 

Association of Longshoremen, 

Aurora, Philadelphia news- 
paper, 23 

Baltimore., guilds before 
Revolution in, 21; tailors' 
strike ^(1705), 22; early 
unions in, 34; Baltimore and 
Ohio strikes, 57, 67; Labor 
Congress (I860), 73 

Bancroft, II. II., quoted, 241- 

Bank, United States, as politi- 
cal issue, 27 

Beecher, II. W., and eight- 
hour day, 71 

Belgium, syndicalism in, 189; 
general strikes, 200 

Bell, A. G. and the telephone, 

Benson, A. L., presidential 
candidate (1916), 243-44 

Bentharn, Jeremy, Place arid, 

Berger, Victor, 244, 245 

Berne (Switzerland), labor 
conference at, 105-06 

Billings (Mont.), treatment of 
I. W. W. leaders in, 216 

Bisbee (Am.), I. W. W. 
strikers in, 216 

Bolshevists, Compere's atti- 
tude toward, 108; and I. 
W. W., 218 

Boston, early trade unions in, 
34; strike benefits in, 3<); 
cooperative movement, 46- 
47; strikes because of cost of 

living (1853), 57; eight-hour 
societies, 70; workingman's 
party, 227 

Boston Labor Reform Asso- 
ciation circulates Steward's 
pamphlet, 71 

Boston Trades Union, 33 

Bowerman, Charles, jJ57 

Boycott, Captain, 177 (note) 

Boycott, 177 ct .SVY/.; used 
against convict labor, 37; 
union label as weapon, 184- 
180; court injunction to pre- 
vent, 252 

Braidwood (111.), Mitchell at, 

Brewer, Justice 1). J., on strike 
violence, 174 

Brewery workers and control 
of coopers, 118 

Brisbane, Albert, 47 

Brissenden, J. G., The Launch- 
ing of the Industrial, Workers 
of the World, cited, !<)(> 

Brook Farm experiment, 41 

Brotherhood of Locomotive 
Engineers, origin, 133; and 
American Federation of La- 
bor, 133 (note); character, 
134; supervision of members, 
135-3(>; excludes firemen, 
130; altitude toward non- 
members, 13(5-37; business 
policy, 137-38; activities, 
138-40; organisation, 140; 
and Firemen's Brotherhood, 

Brotherhood ofthe Footboard, 

Brotherhood of Trainmen, 15(f 

Brush, (1. F., and electric 

lighting, 04 

Buck's Stove and Kange (loin- 
puny of St. Louis, boycott 
case, 180-82, 254 
Buffalo, machinists' strike 
(1880), 07-08; annual con- 
vention of Federation of 



Buffalo Continued 

Labor (1917), 101; railway 
strike (1877), 174; I. W. W. 
disclosures, 17 

Burns, John, 123 

Butler, General B. P., 232-33 

Butte (Mont.), Western Fed- 
eration of Miners organized 
at, 192 

California, effect of discovery 
of gold on cost of living, 57; 
"hobo "labor in, 190; politi- 
cal labor movement, 238- 
242; Workingman's party, 
239; new constitution, 241 

Cannon, J. G., 248 

Carlyle, Thomas, 18; and 
British industrial conditions, 
9; Emerson writes to, 41 

Carter, W. S., 154-56 

Cedar Rapids (la.), head- 
quarters of Order of Railway 
Conductors, 150 

Charleston Navy Yard, eight- 
hour day in (1842), 70 

Chevalier, Michel, quoted, 37 

Chicago, stockyards' strike 
(1880), C7; Haymarket riots, 
68, 83-84; Railway strike 
(1877), 174; "floaters" 
winter in, 190; conferences 
organize I. W. W., 193-94; 
revolutionary branch of I. 
W. W. in, 196; I. W. W. 
offices raided, 217; Labor 
party conference, 235; move- 
ment to form American 
Labor party, 255 

Child labor, 28; in England, 9; 
Greeley and, 52-53; Paris 
peace treaty and, 107; State 
regulation, 250 

Chinese denounced in Cali- 
fornia, 238, 239 

Cigar-makers' International 
Union, Gompers and, 94 

Cincinnati, becomes manu- 
facturing town (1820), 26; 

early unions in, 34 ; coopera- 
tive movement in, 45, 40; 
Railway strike (1377), 174; 
National Union party or- 
ganised (1887), 233 

Civil "War, condition of United 
States after, 63-04 

Clark, E. E., 151 

Clayton Act, 100, 184, 247 

Cleveland, Grover, Message 
(1886), 85; and Pullman 
strike, 174 

Cleveland, Brotherhood of 
Locomotive Engineers own 
building in, 140; Firemen s 
Magazine published in, 156; 
I. W. W. disclosures, 217 

Clinton, De Witt, 23 

Collective bargaining, trade 
unions and, 168-71 

Colorado, miners' strikes, 174, 
193; "hobo" labor in, 190; 
labor ticket (1888), 237 

Columbia, puddlers' strike 
(1880), 67 

Columbus, American Federa- 
tion of Labor established 
(1886), 89; Order of Railway 
Conductorsorganized (1868), 

Combinations in restraint of 
trade, origin of doctrine, 16; 
in England, 17 

Coming Nation, A. H. Simons 
editor of, 195 

Commerce of Great Britain, 6 

Commons, J. R., 29-30 

Communistic colonies, Owen's 
attempts, 40-41; Brook 
Farm, 41 

Comstock, Russell, 223 

Confederation General du Tra- 
vail, 189 

Congress, Homestead Act 
(1862), 50; establishes eight- 
hour day for public work, 
71; Clayton bill (1914), 100, 
184, 247; eight-hour railroad 
law, 133 (note), 160, 164-65, 



Congress Continued 

1(JO, 247; Wilson and, 104; 
and I. W. W., 216; and 
American Federation of 
Labor, 247 

Connecticut, delegates to na- 
tional cordwainers' conven- 
tion (183(}),i35 ; labor politics, 
227 -Jabor ticket (1872), 237 

Conspiracy, legal doctrine in 
England, 15~-1(5; strikers 
tried for, 23; trials in New 
York City, 23-24, 32; acting 
in unison considered, 28 

Convict labor, 30; boycott used 
against, 37 

Cooper, Peter, 231 

Cooperative movement, 45-48, 

Corn laws, G 

Cost of living, bread riots 
caused by high, 39; Mooney 
on (1850), 43-44; in 1853, 
57; Stone's attempt to ad- 
just wages to meet, 144 

Council of National Defense, 

Crompton, Samuel, and spin- 
ning machine, 7 

Daily Advertiser, New York, 

on strikes (1834), 172 
Daily Pc-oph\ DeLeon editor 

of, 195 
Danbury Hatters' Boycott, 

180, 182-8 1 
Daniels, Newell, 74 
Davis, Judge David, 230 
Debs, E. V., 15 K 195, 243, 253 
Debt, imprisonment for, 3(> 
Declaration of Independence, 1 
Defoe, Daniel, on domestic 
system of manufacture, 4-5 
Delaware, delegates to national 
cord \vjiincp.s' convention 
(183(j), 35 

DeLeon, Daniel, 195 
Democratic party and (en- 
hour duy, 5;} 

Detroit t headquarters for So- 
cialist factions of L W. W., 
190; I. W. W. offices raided, 


Direct action. 200-01 
Dover (N. 11.), mill girls* 

strike (1829), 55 
Duncan, James, 124 

Edison, T. A., <!4 

Education, condition before 

1840, 28; issue with labor, 

36; public school improve- 

ment, 42; Paris peace treaty 

and, 107 
Edward 111, proclamation of 

1349, 12 

Eidlitz, O. M., 340 
Eight- Hour League, 70; MC 

also Hours of labor 
Elevator Constructors' Ihiion, 


Eliot, (-. \V., and (iompers, 98 
Ely, 11. T., quoted, 21 
Emerson, II. \V., on commun- 

istic experiments, 41 
Employers' organizations, 2-19 
Erdman Act, 14(1, HJ2 
Erie Railroad, firemen organize 

Brotherhood, 152 
Erne, Lord, Irish landlord, 177 


El tor, J. J., 204 
Evans, G. II. , 48-49 
Evans, Samuel, '233 
Kvctutuj /'av/, account of muss 

meeting in New York, 32; 

quoted, 33 
Everett, Edward, 53 
Everett (Wash.), and L W. W., 

Factory (iirl,s* Association 

(Lowell), 55 
Factory inspection, Paris peace 

treaty and, 107; as political 

issue, 231; provided by law, 

2M) 50 


Farmers' Alliance, 233 ; and 

Knights of Labor at St. 
Louis, 235 

Federation of Organized 
Trades and Labor Unions of 
the United States and Can- 
ada, 89 

Female Industry Association, 

Female Labor Reform Asso- 
ciation, 55 

Field, J. G., 230 

Finance, demand for capital 
after Civil War, 64-65; re- 
form as political issue, 231; 
People's party platform, 236; 
see also Panics, Taxation 

Firemen's Magazine., 165, 156 

"Five Stars/' see Knights of 

Flynn, E. G. p 08 

Force, Peter, 24 

Foster, F. K. a The Labor Move- 
ment, the Problem of Today, 
quoted, 75-70 

Fox, Martin, 116 

France, syndicalism in, 188; 
general strikes, 200 

Free Enquirer, 222 

Friendly Societies, 168 

Furuseth, Andrew, 247 

GarrcLson, A. B., 151, 152 

General Trades' Union of New 
York (lily, 31 

George, Henry, 234; Evans 
precursor of, 48 

Glassblowcrs* Union, 124 

Goldfield (Nov.), I. W. W. at, 

Goldman, Emma, on syndical- 
ism, 108; on general strikes, 

Gompcrs, Samuel. President of 
American Federation ^ of 
Labor, 94 ct seq.\ early life. 
94; national lobbyist for 
Federation, 99, 247; organ- 
izes American Alliance for 

Labor and Democracy, 101; 
on Council of Defense, 102; 
heads American labor mis- 
sion to Europe (1917), 104- 
105; and Berne Jabor con- 
ference, 105-06; contribu- 
tion to Paris treaty of peace, 
106-07; and Socialism, 107- 
108 ; personal characteristics,, 
108; sentenced to imprison- 
ment, 182, 254; birthday 
occasion of gift to Danbury 
union, 184; on American 
Labor party p 255; experience 
at London Conference 
(1918), 256-58 

Government control of public 
utilities, People's party de- 
mands, 236 

Government operation of rail- 
roads, Brotherhoods' plan 
for (1919), 167 

Government ownership, Na- 
tional Labor party on, 230 

Government Printing Office, 
Roosevelt espouses openshop 
in, 248 

Grangers, help organize Na- 
tional Union party, 233; 
join Workingman's party in 
California, 240 

Granite City (111.), early 
morning strikes in steel mills, 

Granite Cutters' National 
Union, 124 

Gray's Harbor (Wash.), I. W. 
W. in, 212 

Great Britain, American insti- 
tutions modeled after those 
of, 1-2; survey of industrial 
system, 2 et seq.; ten-hour 
law in, 53; British Trades 
Union as model for Ameri- 
can Federation, 88; labor 
leaders in, 123; labor com- 
pared with that of America- 



Great War, American Federa- 
tion of Labor and, 100 ct scq. ; 
and railroads, 16G-67; I. W. 
W. and, 215; and Socialist 
party, 244-45 

Greeley, Horace, and ten-hour 
bill, 52; on child labor law, 
53; and eight-hour day, 71 

Green Point (L. I.), potters' 
strike (1880), 07 

Greenback party, 08, 31, 37 

Guild system, 3-4, 13 

Hamond, Edward, on I. W. 
W., 198 

Hardie, Keir, 123 

Hargreaves, James, invents 
spinning- jenny, 7 

Harriman, Job, 243 

Hayes, Dennis, 124-25 

Hayes, R. B., proclamation, 07 

Haywood, W. I)., 105, 197, 
202; quoted, 199 

Henderson, Arthur, 257 

Henderson, John, 123 

Herald, New York, quoted, 5G 

Hewitt, A.. S., 234 

Highland Park (III), Home for 
Disabled Railroad Men, 139 

Hines, W, D., Director-Gen- 
eral of Railroads, 167 

Homestead Act (1802), 50 

Homestead strike (1892), 12(5, 

Homesteaders, 233 

Hoquiam (Wash.), sabotage in, 

Hours of labor, long hours, 28, 
44; ten-hour day, 30-31, 32, 
84, 35, 44, 50-54, 100; first 
ten-hour law (1847), 52; 
as issue, 69-70; eight-hour 
day, 70-72, 74, 129, 152; 
Paris peace treaty and eight- 
hour day, 106; eight-hour 
railroad law, 133 (note), 
160, 104-6(1, 247; eight-hour 
]aw as political issue, 231; 
State regulation, 250 

Housing conditions about 1840 

Hume, Joseph, 17-18 

I. W. W., ,-cv Industrial 
Workers of the World 

Idaho, miners' strike, 174; 
"hobo" labor in, 190; vio- 
lence in, 193; and I. W. W. B 

Illinois, strikes, (>(>, 67; eight- 
hour law (1S67), 71; J. W. W. 
and draft in, 210; United 
Labor party in, 235; labor 
code. 249 

Illinois Central Railroad, con- 
doctors organize union, 150 

Immigration, character of im- 
migrants, 26; adds to armies 
of labor, 69; J. W. W. and, 
101; People's party on, 236 

Indiana, strikes, 66, 67; shoe- 
makers 1 strike (1880), 68; 
labor ticket (1888), 237 

Indianapolis, McNamara trial 
at, 175 

Industrial Commission, United 
States, 152; report quoted, 
168; on union restriction of 
output, 186 

Industrial Revolution, 26 

Industrial Workers of the 
World American Alliance 
For Labor and Democracy 
as antidote for, 101; and 
American Federation of La- 
bor, 109; history of move- 
ment, 188 c/ .w/.; factions, 
196; and direct action, 
200-01; and Socialist party, 

Industry, centralization of, 

"Infidel" party, 223, 224 

Inspection, see Factory in- 

Insurance, Locomotive En- 
gineers' Mutual Life and 
Accident. Insurance Associa* 


Insurance Continued 

tion, 138-39; Order of Rail- 
way Conductors, 150; 
Brotherhood of Trainmen, 

Inter- Allied Labor Conference, 
London '-(1918), 250-58 

International Association of 
Machinists, 125 

International Association of 
Steam, Hot Water and 
Power Pipe Fitters and 
Helpers, 119 

International Firemen's Union, 

International Typographical 
Union of North America, 
60, 126, 169 

Interstate commerce, regula- 
tion as political issue, 231 

Interstate Commerce Com- 
mission, and wage increases, 
145; Clark on, 151; Wilson 
asks for reorganization of , 1 64 

Ipswich (Mass.), meeting 
against I. W. W., 211 

Iron Holders' Union of North 
America, 60, 169 

Italy, syndicalism in, 189; 
general strikes, 200 

Jackson, Andrew, and mechan- 
ics, 27 

Jay, John, on wages (1784), 21 

Jenkins, Judge J. G., of United 
Stales Circuit Court, on 
strike violence, 174 

Johnstown, puddlers' strike 
(1880), 67 

Journeymen Stone Cutters' 
Association of North 
America, 60 

Judson, F. K., 146 

Kansas, I. W. W. and draft, 
216; labor ticket (1868), 237 

Kay, John, invents flying 
shuttle, 7 

Kearney, Dennis, 238 

Keefe, D. J., 126-27 

Kidd, Thomas, 125 

Knapp, Judge, of United 
States Commerce Court, 146 

Knights of Industry, 88 

Knights of Labor, 72; history 
of, 76-85; contrasted to 
American Federation of La- 
bor, 90; Mitchell and, 127, 
128; and Brotherhood of 
Locomotive Engineers, 133 
(note); help organize Na- 
tional Union party, 233; and 
Farmers' Alliance at St. 
Louis, 235; and Socialist 
party, 245 

"Knights of St. Crispin," 72, 

Labor, organizations in eight- 
eenth century, 14-15; or- 
ganizations in America 
before Revolution, 21; and 
politics, 68, 74, 220 et seq.\ 
relations with capital, 69; 
number of wage-earners in 
United States (1860-90), 
69; Congress at Baltimore 
(1866), 73; Bureau of, es- 
tablished (1884), 85; and 
corporations, 87; and Paris 
peace treaty, 106-07; 
leaders, 121-23; Department 
of, and Brotherhoods, 163; 
"floaters," 189-90; special 
report of United States 
Commissioners of (1905), 
193; contract labor as politi- 
cal issue, 2S1; legislation, 
247-52; see also Hours of 
labor; and the courts, 252- 
254; bibliography, 261; see 
also Child labor, Convict 
labor, Hours of labor, Strikes, 
Trade unions, Wages 

Labor Reform League, 51 

Labor Reform party, 74. 229- 

Labour Party in England, 18 



Land, Evans and, 48-50; 
Homestead Act (1862), 50; 
forfeiture of grants as po- 
litical issue, 231 

Lawrence (Mass.), unemploy- 
ment (1857), 62; strike 
(1912), 202-06 

Lee, W. G., 160 

Lima (N. Y.), Clark at, 151 

Little Falls (N. Y.), strike in 
textile mills (1912), 206 

Littleficld, Congressman from 
Maine, 247-48 

Locomotive Engineers' 1 Journal, 
136, 139 

Locomotive Engineers' Mutual 
Life and Accident Insurance 
Association, 138-39 

Loeb, Daniel, alias Daniel De- 
Leon, 195 

London, Inter-Allied Labor 
Conference (1918), _ 256-58 

London Corresponding So- 
ciety, 17 

Los Angeles, dynamiting of 
Times building, 175 

Lowell (Mass.), condition of 
women factory workers 
(1846), 44-45; women strike 
in (1836), 55 

Lowell Female Industrial Re- 
form and Mutual Aid So- 
ciety, 55 

Lynch, J M., 126 

McAdoo, W. G., 166 
McCulloch, J. R., 18 
MacDonald, Ramsey, 123 
Machinists' Union, 118 
McKee, National Conventions 

arid Platforms, cited, 233 

(note), 244 (note) 
McKees Rocks (Perm.), I. W. 

W. at, 202 

McMaster, J. B., quoted, 26 
McNamara, James, 175 
McNamara, J. J., 175 
Maine, labor politics, 227; 

labor party (1878), 232 

Mann, Horace, 42 

Manufacturers' Association* 

Manufacturing, guild system 
replaced by domestic, 4; 
introduction of machinery,, 
7-10; in United States, 24- 

Martineau, Harriet, cited, 35- 

Marx, Karl, 9; follower ad- 
dresses meeting in New 
York, 47 

Maryland, class distinctions, 
20; strikes, 66 

Massachusetts, factories in 
1820, 25; first labor investi- 
gation, 51; women factory 
workers, 56; Bureau of La- 
borandcollective bargaining, 
169-70; labor politics, 227; 
labor party (1878), 232; 
labor code, 249 

Mechanics' Union of Trade 
Associations, 29 

Menlo Park (N. J.), electric 
car in, 64 

Mercantile system, 5-6 

Metal Polishers' Union and 
Buck's Stove and Range 
case, 180 

Metal Trades Association, 249 

Mexican Central Railway, 
Garrctson on, 152 

Michigan, "hobo" labor in, 
190; labor ticket (1888), 237 

Militia, use during strikes, 37, 

Mill, James, Place and, 17 

Milwaukee, Knights of St. 
Crispin in, 74; and Socialism, 
244, 245 

Minnesota, "hobo" labor in, 
190; labor ticket (1888), 237 

Missouri, strikes, 66; eight- 
hour law (1867), 71; labor 
ticket (1888), 237 

Mitchell, John, president, of 
United Mine Workers, 113 



Mitchell, John Continued 
114, 128-29; life and char- 
acter, 127-28; and Anthra- 
cite Coal Strike, 120-30; 
quoted, 131-32; on compul- 
sory membership in unions, 
170; on collective bargain- 
ing, 170; sentenced to im- 
prisonment, 182, 254 

Montana, "hobo" labor in, 
100; violence in, 193; and 
I. W. W., 216 

Mooney, Thomas, Nine Years 
iti America (1850), quoted, 

Moore, Ely, 31 

Morrison, Frank, 182, 254 

Morrissey, P. H., 146, 148, 

National Civic Federation, 152 
National Convention of Jour- 
neymen Printers (1850), 60 
National Erectors' Association, 


National Labor party, con- 
vention, 230 (note); see also 
Labor Reform party 
National Labor Union, 73-74, 


National Metal Trade Asso- 
ciation, 125 

National Protective Associa- 
tion, 133 
National Trade Association of 

Hat Finishers, 60 
National Trades Union, 34^ 
National TypographicalUnion, 


National Union party, 2S3 
Navigation Laws, 6, 10 
Nebraska, labor ticket (1888), 


Nevada, and I. W. W., 16 
New Brunswick, union in, 34 
New England, class distinc- 
tions, 20; manufacture in, 
25; women in textile mills, 
55; cotton weavers' strike 

(1880), 67; labor politics. 

New England Association of 
Farmers, Mechanics, and 
Workingmen, 225 

New England Protective 
Union, 48 

New England Workingmen's 
Association, 46, 51 

New Hampshire, first ten-hour 
law, 52 

New Jersey, manufacturing in 9 
25; delegates to national 
cordwainers' convention 
(1836), 35; ten-hour law 
(1851), 54; stablemen's 
strike (1880), 67; labor 
party (1878), 232 

New York (State), delegates 
to national cordwainers* 
convention (1836), 35; com- 
munistic colonies, 41; cotton 
weavers' strike (1880), 67; 
eight-hour law (1867), 71; 
boycotts, 178; labor party 
(1878), 232: United Labor 
party in, 235; labor code, 249 

New York Boycotter quoted, 

New York Bureau of Statistics 
and Labor, on boycotts, 178 

New York Central Railroad, 
Arthur as engineer on, 141 

New York City, early labor 
organizations, 21, 22; cord- 
wainers' strike (1809), 23- 
24; growth, 25; strikes 
(1833), 31; General Trades* 
Union organized, 31; tailors* 
strike (1836), 32; union in, 
34; boycott of convict labor, 
37; sabotage in (1835), 38; 
strike benefits, 39; coopera- 
tive movement, 47-48; 
women's organizations 
(1825), 55; Female Industry 
Association organized (1845), 
56; strikes (1853), 57; na- 
tional meeting of carpet- 



New York City Continued 
weavers (1846), 60; demon- 
stration in 1857, 61-62; un- 
employment, 62; ribbon 
weavers' strike (1880), 67; 
stablemen's strike (1880), 
67; tailors' strike (1880), 8; 
Third Avenue Railway 
strike (1880), 83; Brother- 
tood of Locomotive Engi- 
neers expels members (1905), 
138 (note) ; garment makers 1 
strike (1015), 1C9; bakers' 
strike (1741), 172; Mrs. 
Grey boycotted, 178-79; 
"floaters" winter in, 100; 
"army of the unemployed" 
(1913-14), 209; labor poli- 
tics, 222; election (1886), 
234; Socialist-Labor con- 
vention (1892), 242; move- 
ment to form American 
Labor party, 255 

New York Masons Society 
(1807), 22 

New York Protective Union, 


New York Society of Journey- 
men Shipwrights (1807), 22 

New York Typographical So- 
ciety, 24 

Newark (N. J.)> union in, 34 

Newlands Law, 102 

Noble Order of the Knights of 
Labor, see Knights of Labor 

Northern Pacific Railroad, 
Clark on, 151 

Norway, syndicalism in, 180 

O'Connell, James, 125 

0' Conor, Charles, of New 

York, 230 
Ohio, communistic colonies in, 

41; ten-hour law (1852), 54; 

strikes, CO, 07; in election of 

1916, 166; labor ticket 

(1888), 237 
Oklahoma, I. W. W. and draft, 


Omaha, stockyards strike 
(1880), 67; People's party 
convention (1892), 236 

Oneonta (N. Y.), ^ Brother- 
hood of the Trainmen or- 
ganized at (1883), 156 

Orange (N. J.), Hatters' Union 
victory in, 182 

Order of Railway Conductors, 

Oregon, "hobo" labor in, 190; 
arid I. W. W., 216 

Original Working Man's party, 

Osceola (la.), (Jarretson born 
in, 151 

Oshkosh (Wis.) Kidd arrested 
in, 25 

Owen, Robert, Place and, 17; 
in America, 40-41, 58 

Owen, R. D., 222, 225 

Panics (1837), 34, 35, 40, 50- 
51 ; (1857), 61-62; (1873-74), 
66; (1893), 158 

Paris Peace Conference, Com- 
mission on International 
Labor Legislation, 105; Gom- 
pers and the treaty, 100-07 

Parker, Joel, Governor of New 
Jersey, 230 

Paterson (N. J.), ribbon 
weavers' strike (1880), 67; 
silk mills strike (1913), 207- 

Pennsylvania, communistic 
colonies in, 41 ; ten-hour law, 
53; child labor law, 53; coal 
miners (1873), 66; strikes, 
67; labor party (1878), 232; 
labor ticket (18714), 237; 
labor code, 49; mounted 
constabulary, 254 

Pennsylvania Railroad, Broth- 
erhood and, 141 

People's Council, 101 

People's party, 235, 2($(>; ace 
also Populist, party 

Philadelphia, early labor or- 



Philadelphia Continued 

ganizations, 21, 22; weaving 
center, 26; first Trades' 
Union in, 29; Trades' Union 
of the City arid County of, 
30; number of union mem- 
bers (1834), 34; strike (1835), 
37; sabotage in, 38; strike 
benefits, 39; cooperative 
movement, 45-46, 47; 
strikes, 57; unemployment 
(1857), 6; ribbon weavers' 
strike (1880), G7; Knights 
of Labor in, 81; cordwainers 
(1806), 171; cordwainers' 
strike (1702), 172; hatters' 
union victory, 182; Law- 
rence strikers start for, 204; 
Workingman's party, 220- 
221; workingmen's political 
clubs, 221-22 

Phillips, Wendell, and ten- 
hour movement, 53; and 
eight-hour day, 71; nomi- 
nated Governor of Massa- 
chusetts, 237 

Pinkerton detectives opposed 
by People's party, 236 

Pittsburgh, becomes manu- 
facturing town, 26; union in, 
34; strikes, 57; riots, 67; 
Federation of Organized 
Trades established (1881), 
89; railway strikes (1877), 

Pittsburgh, Fort Wayne and 
Chicago Railroad, Brother- 
hood and, 136 

Place, Francis, 17, 18 

Plumb plan of railroad opera- 
tion, see Government opera- 
tion of railroads 

Poindexter, Miles, Senator, 
and I. W. W., 216 

Politics, Labor and, 68, 74, 
220 et seq. 

Populist party, 235, 242; see 
also People's party 

Port Jervis (N. Y.), Firemen's 

Brotherhood organized at, 

Portland (Ore.), I. W. W. at, 

Postal savings banks advo- 
cated by People's party, 236 

Powderly, T. V., Grand Mas- 
ter of Knights of Labor, 
79-80, 84 

Prison reform, 42 

Progressive party, 232 

Progressive Labor party, 233 

Pullman strike, 172, 174, 195, 
243, 253 

Quinlan, Patrick, 208 
Railway Brotherhoods, 133 

Railway Conductor, The, 150- 

Reading, railway strike (1877), 

Red Bank (N. J.), communistic 
experiment at, 41 

Referendum, National Labor 
party on, 230 (note) 

Revolutionary War, new epoch 
for labor begins with, 21 

Rhode Island, ten-hour law 
(1853). 54; labor politics, 227 

Ripley, George, and Brook 
Farm experiment, 41 

Rock Island Railroad, Stone 
on, 143-44 

Roosevelt, Theodore, and 
Gompers, 98, 99; interven- 
tion in coal miners' strike, 
129, 130; and Clark, 151; 
and Sargent, 154; defeated 
as mayor of New York City, 
234; Federation of Labor 
opposes, 248 

Ruskin, John, and labor condi- 
tions, 9 

Russia, general strikes, 200 

Sabotage, 38, 201 et seq., 211 
Sacramento (CaL), I. W. W. 



Sacramento (Cal.) Continued 
trials (1919), 217; Working- 
man's party convention 
(1878), 240 

St. Louis, union in, 34; Knights 
of Labor in, 82, 83; meeting 
of Knights of Labor and 
Farmers 1 Alliance, 235 

St. Louis Central Trades and 
Labor Union, 181 

San Diego, I. W. W. in, 213-15 

San Francisco, stablemen's 
strike (1880), 67; "floaters" 
winter in, 100; labor situa- 
tion (1877), 238; Workman's 
Trade and Labor Union of, 

Sargent, F. P., 154 

Scandinavia, general strikes 
in, 200 

Schaffcr, Theodore, 126 

Schenectady, union in, 34 

Scranton (Penn.), Powdcrly at, 

Seaman's Act (1915), 247 

Seamen's Union, 117 

Sexton, James, 257 

Shaw, Albert, 140 

Shaw, Chief Justice of Massa- 
chusetts, opinion in Com- 
monwealth vs. Hunt, CO-61 

Sherman Anti-Trust Law, 
Gompcrs and, 99; and boy- 
cotts, 183 

Silver, free coinage, 230 

Simons, A. M., 1!)5 

Skidmorc, Thomas, 224; The. 
Rights of Man lo Property 
. . . , 222 

Smith, Adam, 10, 18; The 
Wealth of Nations, I 

Smith, Sidney, quoted, 24-25 

Snowdcn, Philip, 123 

Social Democratic party, 243 

Socialism, synonym of destruc- 
tion, 62; organized labor arid, 
245, 258 

Socialist Labor party, 196, 243 

Socialist party, 196, Social 
Democratic party becomes 
known its, 243; in Milwaukee. 
244; progress (1912), 244; 
and Great War, 241-45 

Socialistic American Labor 
Union, 194 

Sore!, Georges, The Socialist 
Future of Trade Unions, 
188-89; ' lieflt'ctions upon 
rfalenrt'i 189" 

Spain, syndicalism in, 18!) 

Spargo, John, 21-5; tii/nd'ical~ 
if.v/w, Induct rid! Unionism.' 

(Dili Nocilllittin, 201 

Spokane, 1. W. \V. in, 212 

tiprini/jield Republican, on 
labor parly, 22(5-27 

Stamvood, History of the Presi- 
dency, cited, 214 (note) 

Slate Guardianship Plan, 225 

Statute of Laborers (1502), 12 

Stephens, U. S., founder of 
Knights of Labor, 70-77, 78 ? 

Sleuncnbcrg, Frank, Governor 
of Idaho, murdered, 193 

Steward, Ira, and eight-hour 
day, 70-71; A Reduction, of 
Hours and Inereaxc of Wages, 

Stone, W. S., 143-45, 149-50 

Strasser, Adolph, testimony 
before Senate 
(1883), 120-21 

Straus, (). S., 14(1 

Streeter, A. J., 23:5 

Strikes, weapon of self-de- 
fense, 14; tailors' strike in 
Baltimore (1795), 22; cord- 
waincrs in Philadelphia 
(1805), 22-23; cordwainers 
in New York (lily (ISO})), 
23; general building 
strike (1827), 30; first gen- 
eral slrikoin America (1835), 
30-31; (1834-37), 32; issues 
not to be settled by, 3(>; 
use of militia,, 37, 251-55' 



Strikes Con tinned 

sabotage, 38, 201 et seq., 211; 
benefits, 39; Boston tailors 
(1850), 46-47; New York 
tailors, 47-48; Dover mill 
girls (1829), 55; Lowell 
women factory workers 
(183(5), 55; in 1853, 57; 
Baltimore and Ohio, 57, 07, 
133; become part of eco- 
nomic routine, 6(1; increase in 
number and importance, 66- 
68; in 1880, 67-68; of 1886, 
68, 82-84; Anthracite Coal 
.Strike, 113, 129-30, 174; 
O'Conncll leads, 125; New 
York City railway (1905), 
138 (nolc); railroad, 141, 142, 
145, 153, 158, 174; Brother- 
hoods threaten (1916), 163, 
165; New York City gar- 
ment makers, 169; history 
in United States, 171-73; 
strike statistics of United 
States Bureau of Labor, 172, 
173; violence, 174-76; Law- 
rence mill strike (1912), 
02-06; Little Falls textile 
strike, 20(5; Akron rubber 
works, 206-07; Granite City 
(01.), steel mills, 210-211; 
court prevention, 252-53 

Supreme Court, Danbury Hat- 
ters' case, 183; open shop 
decision, 252 

"Supreme Mechanical Order 
of I he Sun," 72 

Syndicalism, in Europe, 188; 
1. W. W. and, 198 

Taft, W. JI., vetoes exemption 
bill for Anti-Trust Law, 99 

Tammany Hall, 32 

Tanneribaum, Frank, 209-10 

Tariff, demand for protective, 

Tax Reformers, 233 

Taxation, single lax, 234, 235; 
income tax, 231, 236 

Terre Haute (Ind.), conven- 
tion (1881), 88-89 

Texas, I. W. W. and draft, 216 

Thomas, C. S., Senator, report 
on I. W. W., 216 

Times, Los Angeles, dynamit- 
ing of building, 175 

Toledo (0.), conference of 
Labor Reform and Green- 
back parties, 231 

Trade unions, beginnings, 29- 
39; temporary eclipse, 40; 
new species in early fifties, 
58-59; organization of 
special trades, 60; organiza- 
tion, 112; conventions, 112- 
113; local unions, 114-16; 
characterization of different 
trades, 116-17; disputes as 
to authority, 117-18; ad- 
justment to changing condi- 
tions, 117-18; advantages of 
amalgamation, 119; and 
labor leaders, 121 et seq.; 
purpose, 168; and collective 
bargaining, 168-71; ques- 
tion of monopoly, 170-71; 
and strikes, 173-77; local 
autonomy, 177; union label, 
184-86; restriction of out- 
put, 186-87; oppose use of 
military, 254; bibliography, 

Trades' Union of the City and 
County of Philadelphia, 30 

Transportation, demand for 
better, 27 

Trautmann, W. E., 195; 
quoted, 198 

Troy (N. Y.), union in, 34 

Tulsa (Okla.), treatment of 
I. W. W. in, 216 

Unemployment, in 1857,61-62; 

in 1873-74, 66; "floaters," 

190 ; among immigrants, 191 ; 

in San Francisco (1877), 

Union Labor party, 233, 237; 



Union Labor party Continued 
see also National Union 
Labor party 

Union of Longshoremen, Ma- 
rine and Transport Workers, 

United Association of Journey- 
men Plumbers, Gas Fitters, 
Steam Fitters and Steam Fit- 
ters' Helpers, 119 

United Brotherhood of Car- 
penters, 109 

United Brotherhood of Car- 
penters and Joiners of 
America, 110 

United Hatters of North 
America, 60 

United Labor party, 233, 234 

United Mine Workers, 112, 
117, 128-29, 177, 181 

Van Buren, Martin, executive 

order for ten-hour day, 51 
Van Hise, C. R., 146 
Vermont, labor politics, 227 
Virginia, class distinction in, 20 

Wages, beginning of contro- 
versy, 11-12; in 1784, 1; 
result of tailors' strike, 22; 
rise of, 22; in 1840, 28; car- 
penters', 31; strikes to raise, 
36; Mooney on (1850), 43; 
issue, 69-70; Paris peace 
treaty and, 100; United 
Mine Workers and, 129; 
Arthur and engineers', 142; 
Stone and, 144; Eastern en- 
gineers demand standardiza- 
tion of, 145; Garretson and, 
152; brakemen's, 157; Wil- 
kins and, 158; Adamson Law 
and, 166; further increase 
for railroad employees, 167; 
Trade unions and, 168- 
169; State regulation, 250 

Walling, W. E., 245 
ashington (State), "hobo" 

labor in, 190; and I. W. W. 

Washington (D. C.), union in s 
34; Knights of Labor, 84; 
headquarters of American 
Federation of Labor in, 97 

Weaver, General J. B., 232, 

Webb, Sidney and rseaince, 
History of Trade Unionism,, 

Weed, Thurlow, 24 

West Iloxbury (Mass.), Brook 
Farm experiment al, 41 

Western Federation of Miners, 
174, 189, 192, 104 

Whig party and ten-hour day. 

Wilkinson, S. E., 157 

Wjllard, Daniel, 14(5, 149 

Wilson, Woodrow, quoted, 72; 
and Clayton Act, 100; and 
Garretson, 152; and threat- 
ened strike of Brotherhoods 
(1916), 163-04-, and eight- 
hour railroad law, 104-66 

Wisconsin, communistic ex- 
periment in. 41; eight-hour 
law for women and children 
(1867), 71; labor ticket 
(1888), 237; Socialist party 
(1918), 245 

Women, wages in 1840, 28; 
"new woman" movement, 
43; conditions of labor, 44- 
45; in factories, 54-55; or- 
ganizations, 55 -5(5; Paris 
peace treaty and equal pay 
for, 107; State regulation of 
labor, 250 

Wood Workers in shipbuilding 
industry, 110 

Wood- Workers* International 
Union, 125 

Wooden Box Makers, 1 10 

"Woodstock meetings," 226 

Working Man's Advocate, The v 
223, 225 

Working Man'x (iazrttr, 226 


>rkingman's party, 220- 


>rkingman's party of Cali- 

ornia, 239, 240 

>rkman's Trade and Labor 

Jnion of San Francisco, 239 

>rkmen's compensation, 250 

Wright, C. D., report quoted,, 

Wright, Frances, 222, 225 

Yonngson, A. B., 143 
Youngstown (0.), I. W. W. at,